FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s soccer team (6-6-2, 4-1-1 Atlantic Sun Conference) will look to get back to its winning ways as it wraps up its regular season home schedule with another pivotal A-Sun match Saturday against Jacksonville (4-9-1, 2-3-0 A-Sun) at 7 p.m. With a win, FGCU would propel back into first place in the league ledger, while the Dolphins are looking to strengthen their odds of clinching one of the three remaining tournament seeds.
FGCU enters action tied with Northern Kentucky for second place in the A-Sun with 13 points, two behind first-place ETSU. However, ETSU has played one additional game, meaning FGCU controls its own destiny as with two wins in its final two games it will reach 19 points while the Buccaneers can only get to 18. NKU has two matches left as well, but FGCU already defeated the Norse this year (1-0) to hold the tiebreaker, and Northern Kentucky is ineligible from postseason play due to a Division-I reclassification period.
The Eagles are one of three teams (ETSU, Lipscomb) who have already clinched championship berths as there are three spots remaining with the final five teams (including Jacksonville) separated by just three points. The Dolphins are one of only two teams (travel partner UNF) who have three conference matches remaining.
The A-Sun Championship is hosted by the No. 1 seed Friday, Nov. 15, through Sunday, Nov. 17. The top two teams receive a bye into the Friday semifinals, while seeds 3-6 battle in quarterfinal action at campus sites on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
COACHES vs. CANCER
The program will continue to accept $5 donations for raffle tickets for fans to have the chance to win an authentic framed FGCU men’s soccer jersey. All proceeds benefit Coaches vs. Cancer, and a photo of the jersey is pictured within this release. Fans will have an opportunity to win the jersey through the end of the month.
With FGCU having no seniors on its roster, the Eagles will not hold a traditional Senior Night; instead the program will recognize select athletic department staff members prior to kickoff.
STREAK ON THE LINE
A 2-1 loss at Stetson last Saturday night marked FGCU’s first conference defeat in 13 matches, including the A-Sun tournament, dating back to Oct. 6, 2012, at Lipscomb. The loss to the Hatters also snapped the Eagles’ seven-game unbeaten streak, which was the second longest in program history in one season.
Despite the numerous streaks coming to an end, the Blue and Green’s home conference unbeaten streak remains intact. Perhaps the Eagles most remarkable streak, the Green and Blue has not lost at the FGCU Soccer Complex to an A-Sun member in more than five years – spanning 24 matches and 1,837 days. The last team to claim a victory at The Nest was Jacksonville on Oct. 19, 2008, by the score of 2-0.
The Dolphins welcomed the Eagles to the A-Sun with three losses in their first three meetings, outscoring them 9-1 along the way. FGCU has reversed the script in recent seasons, defeating Jacksonville in three consecutive matches to improve its all-time record against the Dolphins to 3-3. The two teams most recently faced off last season in Jacksonville, with FGCU claiming a 3-2 overtime victory.
Jacksonville is looking to snap out of a recent funk, having lost its previous three contests to drop the Dolphins to 4-9-1 overall. It is the second time this season they have lost three consecutive games. Matheus Saroli leads JU with nine points on a team-best four goals and one assist. Nathan Dalton is one of two players with three goals as he has also added two assists for eight points on the campaign.
ODDS & ENDS
FGCU leads the conference with 22 goals … the Eagles are averaging a league-high 13.64 shots per game … FGCU enters Saturday averaging 4.29 points per game, leading their closest competition by nearly a point … the Green and Blue are averaging 1.14 assists per game, which is best in the conference … sophomore keeper Danny George (Safety Harbor, Fla./Countryside HS) has four conference shutouts – the most in the league … classmate Felipe DeSousa (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) leads the Eagles with five goals and 11 points.
Despite their recent hiccup at Stetson, FGCU has proven to be an elite team in the A-Sun, recording a scintillating A-Sun regular-season record of 26-3-2 since 2010. All three of their conference losses have come on the road. Out of a possible 93 points that could have been earned since 2010, FGCU has claimed an astonishing 80 of them (86 percent).
Following its match with the Dolphins, FGCU will travel to Jacksonville to play North Florida next Saturday, Nov. 9, for the last regular-season game before the conference tournament.
2013-14 men’s soccer tickets are available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Single-game tickets can 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.