FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU men’s soccer team (6-3-1, 3-0-0 ASUN) ran its winning streak to five in a row as the Eagles shut out visiting Lipscomb (5-6-0, 1-3-0 ASUN) Saturday night at the FGCU Soccer Complex to move into a tie atop the ASUN standings.
Robert Ferrer scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the 22nd minute, and Dylan Sacramento added the insurance strike in the 69th minute as Connor Gavigan secured his fifth shutout of the year by making five saves. It’s the redshirt freshman’s third clean sheet in a row to open ASUN action as the Eagles are the only team in the league to have not allowed a goal in conference play.
After opening the season 1-3-0, FGCU is unbeaten in its last six matches (5-0-1). The five-game winning streak is halfway to the program’s all-time record of 10 straight set last season, and is now tied for the 6th-longest in the nation.
With the victory, FGCU moves into a tie for 1st place in the ASUN with Stetson as both clubs are unbeaten with 9 points. The Eagles head to DeLand next Saturday, Oct. 14, for a pivotal match with the Hatters. FGCU was installed as the ASUN preseason favorites, and it has commenced league play with victories over each of the three teams selected below it – North Florida (2nd, 2-0), Lipscomb (3rd) and Jacksonville (4th, 1-0).
“I’m very excited about how we went about business tonight,” surmised FGCU head coach Jesse Cormier. “They’re a very difficult opponent; Lipscomb’s energy and mentality makes it difficult to break their spirit. But our guys did a good job doing just that tonight. I’m very proud of the guys being able to match Lipscomb’s energy and create and finish the opportunities that we did.”
The opening goal of the match from Ferrer (Barcelona, Spain/Brevard College/IES Calamot) came in relatively uncontested fashion. The senior picked up the ball in the middle of the Lipscomb third and took several touches, moving to his right before sending a right-footed shot back across his body on the ground. The effort came from the top of the 18, and was sent diagonally across the box, just sneaking inside the far left post, beyond the diving effort of Lipscomb keeper Christopher Zappia.
The second FGCU strike of the night came from distance. In just his second game back after recovering from an injury, ASUN Preseason Player of the Year Albert Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/ CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) delivered a pass into from the left wing into the middle of the field to Sacramento (Winnipeg, Manitoba/York University/Bill Crothers S.S.). The senior settled the delivery and sent a left-footed shot from about 20 yards that was deflected off a Lipscomb defender into the left netting for his second goal of the campaign.
FGCU finished the match with a 19-13 shot advantage. After just one combined corner was attempted in the 1st half, Gavigan (Aurora, Colo./Creighton/Grandview HS) and the Eagles’ backline – anchored the middle by senior Nicolas Samayoa (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Colegio Valle Verde) – staved off eight Lipscomb corners in the 2nd half.
The triumph extended FGCU’s dominant record to 43-5-5 in all ASUN regular-season games since the start of the 2010 season. Out of a possible 159 points that could have been earned in that time, the Green and Blue have claimed an impressive 134 of them (84 percent).
Even more impressive, dating back to October of 2008 – just the program’s second season – FGCU is now a gaudy 29-1-3 in home regular-season games against ASUN opponents.
The Eagles wrap up a three-game homestand on Tuesday, Oct. 10, when they host cross-state foe FIU at the FGCU Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. The non-conference matchup could prove to be pivotal for FGCU’s postseason scenarios as the Panthers are one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the nation at 6-0-3. FIU was ranked No. 27 in the most recent official RPI this week.
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 120-92-48 (.553 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.