FORT MYERS, Fla. – Entering on a season-long three-game win streak, the FGCU men’s soccer team will host first place ETSU on Friday night at the FGCU Soccer Complex in a rematch of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Championship game. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Senior ceremonies honoring FGCU’s five-member class of Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS), Will Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS), Andres Navas (Miami, Fla./Sunset Senior HS/FIU), Jelani Smith (Mississauga, Canada/Rick Hansen Secondary) and Jeremy Vollmer (Carmel, Ind./Westfield HS) will begin 10 minutes prior to kick-off. The senior class has been a part of 39 wins that included a 25-5-1 mark in the A-Sun, two A-Sun regular season crowns, the program’s first A-Sun Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance, and has a combined 88 points between them.
The Eagles (6-5-2, 3-1-1) sit just two points back of ETSU (4-1) and Mercer (4-1), which are in a tie for first place with 12 points. The trio of teams has three games remaining in the regular season. The A-Sun regular season champ and No. 1 seed will play host to the Conference Tournament, which will be held from Nov. 7-11.
Last year, FGCU and ETSU met last year in the A-Sun Championship game played in Johnson City, Tenn. with the Eagles scoring in the 88th minute in a 1-0 win that sent the five-year old program to its first NCAA Tournament in its first year of postseason eligibility. The Green and Blue own a 3-2 edge all-time against the Bucs, including a 2-0 mark at home in which they’ve out-scored ETSU, 8-0.
FGCU’s current three-game A-Sun win streak marks the fourth consecutive year that the Eagles have produced such a streak. A key component to the win streak has been the play of freshman Felipe DeSousa (Vila Velha, Brazil/Wharton HS-FL), who is the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week. DeSousa scored the game-winner in the team’s victory over UNF and followed with two more goals, including the game-winner, in FGCU’s 3-2 comeback win at Jacksonville.
For the year, DeSousa leads the Eagles with 11 points and five goals, slightly ahead of Morse and redshirt sophomore Henry Penagos (Margate, Fla./American Heritage School of Boca/Delray), who have three goals each. Out of the 19 field players, including nine freshmen, that have seen time this season, 15 have registered at least one point.
Sophomore keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) and the rest of the youthful FGCU defense have posted a total of four shutouts on the year, equaling last year’s total through a 20-game season. Ingham is the only player to see time in net this season, making 39 saves.
After a mid-season slide that saw it go 0-4-1 over a five-game stretch that included road games at No. 25 Furman and Kentucky, ETSU is now riding a five-game unbeaten streak that includes four A-Sun wins and a draw against No. 18 Wake Forest. In conference play, the Bucs have out-scored their opponents 13-3 with three shutouts. The top scoring team in the A-Sun at 1.8 goals per game, ETSU is led by junior David Geno, who is in the top 10 in the nation in total points (29/T-5th), points per game (1.93/6th) and goals (11/T-8th). Geno’s seven assists are also tied for the A-Sun lead. Like Ingham, keeper Ryan Coulter has logged every minute in net, posting five shutouts and is the reigning A-Sun Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Live stats and a link to A-Sun TV are available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com. A-Sun TV is free for all sports during the 2012-13 season. Fans can also get updates on twitter by following the team’s official account @FGCU_MSoccer. Along with updates on the team’s official twitter page, fans can also get updates from around the Atlantic Sun and the nation by using the hashtag #ASUNMSOC or #D1MSOC.