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FGCU Hosts Lipscomb Saturday Night

Published: October 6, 2017

Matchup: Lipscomb (5-5-0, 1-2-0 ASUN) @ FGCU (5-3-1, 2-0-0 ASUN)
When: Saturday, Oct. 7 | 7 PM
Where: Fort Myers, Fla. | FGCU Soccer Complex
Links: Watch | Live Stats | Tickets
Series: FGCU Leads, 8-3-1
Promos: Whiteout | BOGO With Volleyball
Coaches: Jesse Cormier (1st Season @ FGCU (5-3-1); 14th Overall (119-92-48)) | Charles Morrow (13th Season @ Lipscomb (95-120-22); 15th Overall (115-133-28))

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Looking to continue its hot play, the FGCU men’s soccer team returns to ASUN Conference action this weekend when the Eagles welcome league foe Lipscomb to the FGCU Soccer Complex for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Saturday.

 

OPENING KICK

After opening the season 1-3-0, FGCU is unbeaten in its last five matches (4-0-1). The Eagles have won four-straight games – tied for the 11th-longest streak in the nation – and with a victory over the Bisons will be tied for the 6th-longest run in the country.

 

While still nearly halfway shy of the streak the 2016 team rattled off, the run for FGCU is potentially shaping up very similar to what the club did a season ago. Last year, the Eagles opened the campaign 0-2-1 before claiming a program- and nation-best 10-straight wins en route to a 14-4-3 overall record, an ASUN Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance.

 

IRMA RELIEF DONATIONS

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many individuals and families throughout Southwest Florida are still in desperate need of assistance. To aid in those relief efforts, FGCU Athletics will be collecting donations at all Eagle home games for the immediate future. Donation items most needed include: non-perishable food, clothing, household items and first-aid supplies. Additionally, those unable to attend upcoming home games can drop off donations in canisters located in the Alico Arena lobby. All donations will be given to those hardest hit in Lee and Collier counties.

 

WHAT TO KNOW

Fans are encouraged to wear white to create a WHITEOUT atmosphere at The Nest. Additionally, the FGCU volleyball team hosts NJIT at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Fans with a ticket to the volleyball game will be admitted free to the men’s soccer game (and vis versa for a men’s soccer ticket admitted free to volleyball).

 

ASUN STANDINGS

Team

PTS

ASUN

OVERALL

Stetson

9

3-0-0

5-5-0

FGCU

6

2-0-0

5-3-1

NJIT

6

2-0-0

7-3-2

Lipscomb

3

1-2-0

5-5-0

Jacksonville

0

0-1-0

2-7-0

North Florida

0

0-2-0

1-8-1

USC Upstate

0

0-3-0

2-7-1

 

PRESEASON POLL

FGCU was installed as the ASUN preseason favorites, garnering five 1st-place votes and collecting 43 points. North Florida was picked 2nd with 36 points, just ahead of 3rd-place Lipscomb (35) and 4th-place Jacksonville (34).

 

With a win over Lipscomb, FGCU will begin its ASUN schedule with victories over the top-3 teams picked behind it in the preseason poll. Last Saturday, the Green and Blue defeated North Florida on the road, 2-0, and two weeks ago they opened their league slate with a 1-0 triumph at home over Jacksonville.

 

ASUN DOMINANCE

FGCU owns a dominant record of 42-5-5 in all ASUN regular-season games since the start of the 2010 season. Out of a possible 156 points that could have been earned in that time, the Green and Blue have claimed an impressive 131 of them (84 percent).

 

EVEN MORE DOMINANT AT HOME

Dating back to October of 2008 – just the program’s second season – FGCU is a gaudy 28-1-3 in home regular-season games against ASUN opponents. The Eagles had the longest home regular-season unbeaten streak in the nation snapped last year at 29 (26-0-3) when North Florida defeated the Eagles. All-time in home regular-season contests versus ASUN foes (since 2007), FGCU is 30-5-4.

 

ALL-TIME vs. LIPSCOMB

The contest will serve as a rematch of an ASUN semifinal last year at the FGCU Soccer Complex when the Eagles scored an overtime winner to take down the Bisons, 3-2.

 

While FGCU holds a dominant 8-3-1 edge in the all-time series, eight of the 11 matches (not including the tie) have been decided by one goal. After Lipscomb won the first meeting in 2007, 2-0, FGCU claimed four-straight 2-1 victories. While the contests between the two sides have been close, they have also produced plenty of offense as there have only been three total shutouts in the 11 meetings: the aforementioned Lipscomb clean sheet in 2007, and then a 1-0 blanking by FGCU in 2013 and a 4-0 shutout by the Eagles in 2015.

 

The only tie in the series came in the regular-season finale last year in Nashville, 1-1 – a result which gave the Eagles the No. 2 seed in the ASUN Tournament and subsequent hosting responsibilities for the semifinal match.

 

ABOUT THE BISONS

^ Lipscomb opened its ASUN schedule with a 4-0 win at USC Upstate on Sept. 23, but has since dropped a 2-1 overtime decision at Stetson (Sept. 27) and a 1-0 home contest versus NJIT (Sept. 30).

^ The roster boats 10 seniors and five juniors, giving Lispcomb the most upperclassmen in the ASUN. The 10 seniors is also the most in the conference.

^ Logan Paynter leads the offensive attack with five goals and three assists for 13 points. The quintet of goals and baker’s dozen of assists both rank 2nd in the ASUN.

^ Ivan Sakou has scored four goals to rank tied for 3rd in the league, while Ivan Alvarado also has eight points off a trio of goals and a pair of assists. Alvarado is Lipscomb’s all-time assist leader with 18, something he reached earlier this season.

^ In net, Christopher Zappia has played every minute so far this season and has a goals-against average of 1.65. His 33 saves are the 3rd-most in the ASUN, and his .660 save percentage is the 5th-best.

 

INSIDE THE FGCU LINEUP

Robert Ferrer and Dennis Zapata lead the FGCU offensive attack with eight points each. Ferrer (Barcelona, Spain/Brevard College/IES Calamot) has scored three goals and added two assists, while Zapata (Orlando, Fla./University HS) – despite missing four matches with a hamstring injury – has produced a pair of goals and a team- and league-leading four assists.

 

Sophomore Shak Adams (Antioch, Tenn./Cane Ridge HS) has turned in seven points off three goals and an assist, while defender Preston Kilwien (San Francisco, Calif./College Park HS) is tied with Ferrer and Adams for the team lead with three goals for six points.

 

LOCKING IN DEFENSIVELY

FGCU had its shutout streak of 309 minutes snapped on Tuesday night when #24 Omaha scored just 12 minutes into the match. Prior to that, the Eagles had shut out three-consecutive opponents for the first time since the 2014 season when they blanked four-consecutive foes. Two of those clean sheets came in the ASUN Tournament, so it marked the first time the Eagles had shut out three-straight opponents in the regular season since the 2013 season.

 

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Connor Gavigan (Aurora, Colo./Creighton/Grandview HS) was responsible for those three-straight shutouts, and he has four clean sheets on the year to rank 2nd in the ASUN. Jared Brown (Aurora, Ontario/St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS) got the start against the Mavericks on Tuesday – his first appearance since the season opener. Gavigan has posted a 0.97 goals-against average in seven matches – the 2nd-best in the league – while his .759 save percentage is also the 2nd-best among conference keepers.

 

FGCU is the only team in the ASUN that has yet to allow a goal in conference action. While Gavigan has been strong in net, much of that is a credit to the FGCU backline as the Eagles have only allowed 93 shots all year – by far the fewest in the league. Each of the other six teams in the ASUN have surrendered at least 100 shots.

 

HIGHLIGHT-REEL FINISHES

Over the last few years, FGCU has turned in some highlight-reel goals which have garnered national attention. The most recent came on Tuesday night when freshman Kareem Riley (Couva, Trinidad and Tobago/Presentation College San Fernando) secured the No. 3 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays for his incredible goal from about 40 yards. Riley sent a laser of a shot which stayed on line with the crossbar nearly the entire time before just dipping under the bar for his first collegiate goal and the eventual game-winner against #24 Omaha (watch the goal).

 

It’s the third time in the last 2+ seasons that the team has been featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. The first was Kilwien (No. 3 on Sept. 10, 2015) and then Dylan Sacramento (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Bill Crothers S.S/York University) (No. 7 on Oct. 17, 2015).

 

LUCKY 100

With its 3-2 victory over #24 Omaha on Tuesday, FGCU secured its 100th all-time win. The Eagles are 100-66-25 (.589) in 10+ seasons, including a dominant 54-18-7 (.728) record in ASUN contests. Since the program’s first two seasons in 2007 and 2008, FGCU has posted a winning record each of the past eight years, including double-figure victory totals in half of those campaigns.

 

LAST TIME OUT

The nation’s leading returning goal scorer finally made his season debut, the Eagles tallied a trio of highlight-reel goals and FGCU took down #24 Omaha.

 

After finishing runner-up for the MAC Hermann Trophy – college soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman a year ago – Albert Ruiz missed the first eight games of this season recovering from an injury, but made his return Tuesday. Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/ CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) entered the match in the 30th minute, and by the 44th minute had scored his first goal of the campaign.

 

That strike tied the match at 1-1 entering halftime, and in the 2nd half the Eagles received incredible goals from freshmen Chris Clement and Kareem Riley to put the game out of reach – the latter from Riley (Couva, Trinidad and Tobago/Presentation College) from nearly 40 yards out which stood up as the game-winner.

 

RECORD-SETTING 2016 CAMPAIGN

FGCU led the country in nearly every offensive category a season ago, including goals with 62 – nine more than any other team. The club reached record heights as it secured a program-record 14 wins.

 

The Eagles advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round for the first time after claiming a 3-0 triumph in penalty kicks at USF in the opening round following a 2-2 double-overtime tie. FGCU went on to face North Carolina, and the Green and Blue had a 2-1 lead until an 86th-minute goal by the Tar Heels. FGCU played the final 52 minutes of the match with 10 men, and UNC finally tallied a double-overtime goal to emerge victorious, 3-2. The Eagles return nearly every player from 2016, including 10 starters.

 

NATIONALLY RANKED

The Eagles began the year ranked #15 in College Soccer News Preseason Poll. It marked the fourth-straight season that FGCU has been nationally ranked. The Eagles finished last year #20 in the NSCAA Poll (now United Soccer Coaches) after being ranked for the final nine weeks of the season and climbing to a program-best #11 in mid-October.

 

FGCU NATIONAL RANKING HISTORY
10/5/2010: #25 Soccer America

10/12/2010: #24 Soccer America

10/14/2010: #24 Top Drawer Soccer

10/19/2010: #21 Soccer America

10/26/2010: #23 Soccer America

11/2/2010: #19 Soccer America

11/9/2010: #19 Soccer America

11/16/2010: #20 Soccer America (Final Poll)

8/2/2011: #14 Goal.com (Preseason Poll)

8/30/2011: #22 Goal.com

9/27/2011: #25 Goal.com

9/9/2014: #24 NSCAA and Soccer America

8/31/2015: #19 Top Drawer Soccer

10/13/2015: #22 Top Drawer Soccer

10/20/2015: #22 Top Drawer Soccer

9/27/2016: #15 NSCAA

10/4/2016: #12 NSCAA

10/11/2016: #12 NSCAA

10/18/2016: #11 NSCAA

10/25/2016: #20 NSCAA

11/1/2016: #22 NSCAA

11/8/2016: #21 NSCAA

11/15/2016: #18 NSCAA

12/13/2016: #20 NSCAA (Final Poll)

8/3/2017: #15 College Soccer News (Preseason Poll)

 

ALBERT RUIZ

Ruiz was named to the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List as one of the nation’s top players after finishing runner-up for the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy a season ago. The lethal striker – who was also one of just three forwards on Top Drawer Soccer’s Preseason Best XI list – destroyed single-season program records in goals (22) and points (49) en route to being named an NSCAA First Team All-American – the first ASUN Conference representative since 1997.

 

The senior – the only unanimous selection to the ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team – scored five more goals and totaled nine more points than any other player in the country in 2016. He also led all Division-I players in goals per game (1.10; next closest: 0.89) and points per game (2.45; next closest: 1.95). By himself, Ruiz scored more goals than 74 teams – more than one-third of the 203 D-I men’s programs – and secured more points than 43 teams last season.

 

BUILDING A CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM

FGCU has produced six professional players – including two current MLS members in Rodrigo Saravia (Columbus Crew) and Aaron Guillen (FC Dallas) – and 63 ASUN All-Conference selections. In just six years of D-I postseason eligibility, FGCU has won four ASUN Tournament championships and made four NCAA Tournament appearances – in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016 – and won an unprecedented six-straight ASUN regular-season championships from 2010-15.

 

NEXT UP

The Eagles wrap up a three-game homestand on Tuesday when they host cross-state foe FIU at the FGCU Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.

 

FGCU Career Records

 

GOALS

 

 

 

POINTS

 

1

Albert Ruiz (14-Present)

31

 

1

Albert Ruiz (14-Present)

69

2

Cristian Raudales (08-11)

19

 

2

Cristian Raudales (08-11)

43

3

Felipe DeSousa (12-14)

18

 

3

Felipe DeSousa (12-14)

38

4

Henry Penagos (10-14)

13

 

4

Arion Sobers-Assue (14-Present)

37

5

Arion Sobers-Assue (14-Present)

12

 

5

Josey Portillo (08-11)

31

 

Scott Harrison (08-11)

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSISTS

 

 

 

 

 

1

Josey Portillo (08-11)

15

 

 

 

 

2

Arion Sobers-Assue (14-Present)

13

 

 

 

 

3

Francesco DiStefano (08-11)

12

 

 

 

 

4

Andres Navas (09-12)

11

 

 

 

 

5

Deion Jones (09-12)

10

 

 

 

 

 

FGCU Single-Season Records

 

GOALS

 

 

 

POINTS

 

1

Albert Ruiz (2016)

22

 

1

Albert Ruiz (2016)

49

2

Arion Sobers-Assue (2016)

11

 

2

Arion Sobers-Assue (2016)

33

3

Albert Ruiz (2015)

7

 

3

Deion Jones (2010)

17

 

Felipe DeSousa (2012)

7

 

 

Scott Harrison (2008)

17

 

Cristian Raudales (2011)

7

 

5

Albert Ruiz (2015)

16

 

Deion Jones (2010)

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSISTS

 

 

1

Arion Sobers-Assue (2016)

11

 

2

Josey Portillo (2011)

7

 

3

Deion Jones (2011)

6

 

 

Donovan Henry (2010)

6

 

 

William Morse (2011)

6

 

 

FOLLOW ALONG

For up-to-the minute information and a behind-the-scenes look at the FGCU men’s soccer program, follow on Twitter @FGCU_MSoccer, Instagram @FGCU_MSoccer, Facebook /FGCUMSoccer and YouTube /FGCUAthletics.

 

HEAD COACH JESSE CORMIER

Jesse Cormier was hired in January 2017 to become just the 2nd head coach in program history. The head coach at Vermont for the previous 13 seasons, Cormier won 14 games with the Catamounts in 2016 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. During his time with Vermont, Cormier guided the program to the America East Tournament in 12 of 13 seasons, making five title game appearances, winning two tournament crowns, claiming a regular-season championship and advancing to three NCAA tournaments, including a pair of Second Round appearances. Cormier has a 119-92-48 (.552 winning percentage) overall record as a head coach.

 

SUPPORT THE CAUSE

FGCU Athletics sponsors events throughout the year to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

 
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