FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s soccer team will get a chance to avenge its 2011 NCAA Tournament loss to UCF on Saturday night when it hosts the Knights at 7 p.m. in a “Blue Out” at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
Fans who wear blue to the game can purchase a single-game ticket for half price, as the Eagles and Knights will square off for the third time in the last two seasons. Last year, FGCU got the best of then-No. 8 UCF in the regular season, but fell in double-overtime in Orlando in the first round of the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
FGCU, currently No. 38 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Tournament 48 projections, is 3-3 on the year, while the Knights are No. 33 in the very same poll and also sport a .500 record (2-2-1).
The game will be the first in just over a week for the Green and Blue who hosted the Courtyard By Marriott Classic last weekend, which featured No. 21 Furman, VCU and FIU. FGCU fell to VCU, 2-1, on the opening Friday of the Classic and had its showdown with the nationally-ranked Paladins cancelled due to lightning in the 50th minute on Sunday.
All three of FGCU’s wins have come over programs that were ranked in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Tournament 48 projects; Bucknell (2-1), Iona (2-0) and South Carolina (3-0). Out of the six non-conference opponents FGCU has played, five of them have been ranked by TopDrawerSoccer.com with VCU being the lone that wasn’t. The Rams picked up votes in two of five national polls this week and are still unbeaten at 4-0-2.
Offensively, the Eagles sport a balanced attack that has seen six players score a goal and 10 different players record at least one point. Senior forward Will Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS), who was named to College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week and the A-Sun Player of the Week two Monday’s ago, leads the way with three goals, highlighted by the game-winner against Bucknell in double-overtime.
The FGCU backline that sports five underclassmen has come together over its last five games, allowing just four goals over that span. Sophomore keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) has logged every minute in net, making 20 saves that have helped lead to a pair of shutouts.
UCF, who was picked third in the Conference USA Preseason Poll – behind favorite South Carolina – has earned both of its wins on the road, picking up victories at FAU and UC Davis. The Jamaican combo of Deshorn Brown and McKauly Tulloch has scored seven of the team’s eight goals on the season and own both game-winners. The game will also be the first in just over a week for the Knights, as they last earned a 2-2 draw with Atlantic Sun member Jacksonville last Friday.
Live in-game updates off all the games can be found on twitter @FGCUMensSoccer, while live stats are available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com. Along with updates on the team’s official twitter page, fans can also get men’s soccer updates from around the Atlantic Sun and the nation by using the hashtag #ASUNMSOC or #D1MSOC.