FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off a tough double-overtime loss on Wednesday at Florida Atlantic University, the FGCU men’s soccer team returns home for a marquee matchup Saturday under the lights of the FGCU Soccer Complex with an 8 o’clock kickoff against Wisconsin. The team will be looking to set a program and Atlantic Sun Conference attendance record as part of FGCU’s #Big10FaceOff.
The FGCU volleyball team hosts five-time national champion and current No. 3 team in the nation Penn State at 7 p.m., and fans who purchase a ticket to that game are admitted free to the soccer game. FGCU’s attendance goal is 2,500, which would be almost 1,000 more than the Soccer Complex record and nearly 700 more than the A-Sun record.
Additionally, fans who submit their business card at the marketing table will have a chance to win a complimentary two night stay with breakfast included at the Gulf Coast Town Center Courtyard by Marriott, the official hotel of FGCU men’s soccer.
As part of the #Big10Faceoff, all Dirty Birds members will receive peel-and-stick game faces for free, and they will be available to the general public for $5. Fans are encouraged to interact throughout the night by using the hashtag on Twitter.
It will be FGCU’s second home game of the season and the last one until next month. The Eagles (0-2-1) have played three tough opponents to commence the year, tying USF (2-2) and dropping one-goal games each to FIU (4-3) and FAU (3-2). Falling behind early in contests has been a theme FGCU will be looking to stop on Saturday as it has allowed a goal within the first 10 minutes in each of its first three outings. However, the Eagles’ offense has battled to get back into each game, including Wednesday at FAU as it scored two second-half goals with only 10 men before succumbing in double OT.
The last time FGCU faced a Big Ten opponent it came away with a 1-0 win at home over No. 5 Ohio State.
The Eagles’ offense continues to excel as FGCU leads the conference in six offensive categories. In their three games, the Green and Blue have taken 50 shots, resulting in seven goals for an overall average of 2.33 goals per game.
Continuing to lead the offense is sophomore Filipe DeSousa (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) who has tallied three goals so far this season off 12 shots, six of which have been on goal. DeSousa’s average of one goal per game ties him in the NCAA rankings at number 11.
Wisconsin enters Saturday night’s contest at 3-0-1 after collecting its most recent win by shutting out USF, 2-0, on Thursday. Leading the unbeaten Badgers are 13 seniors, including current Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week Tomislav Zadro who leads the Big Ten with eight total points and ranks second for goals with two.
In its matchup against USF, Wisconsin tallied just four shots – three on net – but made the most of them by scoring twice. Like when FGCU played at USF in its season opener, the game was delayed multiple hours due to weather. The Badgers scored in the 8th minute and then just after halftime to seal their third win of the season. Wisconsin enters Saturday’s tilt ranked No. 6 the NSCAA Great Lakes Region Poll.
The match against Wisconsin will be FGCU’s final home game for three weeks as the Eagles head to opposite corners of the country the following two weekends. Next weekend the Green and Blue travel to the Pacific Northwest for games with Washington and Seattle on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The next weekend, the team heads to the Northeast for contests against Penn and Princeton.
2013-14 men’s soccer season tickets are now available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.