UNION, N.J. – Dylan Sacramento scored twice, Arion Sobers-Assue and Robert Ferrer continued their hot play with goals and the FGCU men’s soccer team (6-2-1, 1-0-0 ASUN Conference) rolled to its sixth-straight victory with a 4-1 road win over NJIT (4-3-2, 1-1-0 ASUN) Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, FGCU is now tied for the longest winning streak in the nation at six in a row along with Loyola Chicago and Butler, with both teams playing Saturday night at home against SIU Edwardsville and Providence, respectively.
Sacramento (Winnipeg, Manitoba/York University/Bill Crothers S.S.) scored twice in the opening half and put the game out of reach early for the Eagles. He also added the assist on Sobers-Assue’s goal in the 20th minute to finish with five points – the third-different FGCU player to record at least five points in each of the last three games.
FGCU entered the contest ranked 3rd in the nation in total goals with 21, but finished the match as the country’s leader with 25 – two ahead of Vermont and Buffalo. Sobers-Assue (Miami, Fla./DeMatha Catholic HS) tallied his fourth goal in two matches and sixth of the campaign, and Ferrer (Barcelona, Spain/Brevard College/IES Calmot) capped the scoring with his second goal of the year in the 70th minute off a corner to make it a 4-0 FGCU lead.
Despite giving up a goal in the 77th minute, FGCU – which is receiving votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Poll this week – still won its sixth in a row. The six-game winning streak is tied for the third-longest in program history along with a midseason run in 2013. The program record is eight-straight victories, set in 2010 and again in 2012.
“The guys are just playing with a lot of confidence and belief right now,” commented head coach Bob Butehorn. “We were creating a lot of chances early in the year and just not finishing, but right now they are and it’s been great to see. It’s nothing we’ve really done differently – I’ve just turned them loose and they’re capitalizing.”
After a relatively quiet opening 15 minutes, Sobers-Assue dribbled into the box and fired a shot from a right angle off the post in the 18th minute. The rebound careened right to Sacramento – making his first appearance after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury – and he delivered what was then his third goal of the campaign into an open net to give the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.
The offensive assault continued just minutes later when Ferrer played a ball up the middle of the pitch perfectly on to a Sacramento run. The forward then played a square pass to the right to Sobers-Assue, who buried a shot to the left of NJIT keeper Victor Pujades – the ASUN’s leader in save percentage (.824) entering the match.
Late in the first half, Sacramento tallied his second goal of the afternoon following an NJIT turnover in the 42nd minute. Situated in the middle of the pitch just outside the box, Miguel Jaime (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek HS) played a pass out to the right to Sacramento, and he calmly settled and fired a shot just inside the far post to give the Green and Blue a 3-0 halftime edge.
The goal concluded a dominant opening 45 minutes for the Eagles, who out-shot NJIT, 6-1, and out-cornered the Highlanders, 4-0.
The Eagles concluded their scoring in the 70th minute when Dennis Zapata (Orlando, Fla./University HS) took a corner and sent a ball to Ferrer, who finished his effort low and inside the right post.
NJIT scored its lone goal of the match against Sawyer Jackman (Chicago, Ill./St. Charles East HS) in the 77th minute when Rene White converted his fifth of the year off an assist from Andy Alvarez.
Despite that, Jackman moved his record to 5-0-1 on the year and now has a 0.96 goals-against average, which is the 2nd-best in the ASUN, as he finished the match with four saves.
FGCU has now posted 14 goals in its last three games and is by far the hottest offense in the nation. As a comparison, during the entire 2014 season, FGCU scored 20 goals. Making Saturday’s performance even more impressive is that the Eagles scored four goals without ASUN leading scorer Albert Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/ CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) even stepping on the field as the junior, who has a program-record eight goals and 19 points already this year, rested.
FGCU now owns a dominant 37-4-4 record in all ASUN regular-season games since the start of the 2010 season. All four of those losses have come on the road, and out of a possible 135 points that could have been earned in that time, the Eagles have claimed an impressive 115 of them (85.2 percent) en route to an unprecedented six-straight ASUN regular-season titles.
The Eagles will remain in the New York City area for a few days before playing Rutgers on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Scarlett Knights are 0-6-1 on the year following a 0-0 double-overtime tie at home against Indiana Friday night. Rutgers has been outscored so far this year, 17-2.
Single-game tickets are available for all remaining home games. More information, including special discounts and group rates, can be accessed by visiting FGCUTickets.com. To purchase tickets, or for additional inquiries, call the FGCU Ticket Office at 239-590-7145 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or log on to FGCUTickets.com.
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.
FGCU is led by Bob Butehorn, who has coached six professional players and 54 ASUN All-Conference selections since FGCU started its program in 2007. In just five years of postseason eligibility, Butehorn has guided FGCU to three ASUN Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances – in 2011, 2012 and 2014 – and has won an unprecedented six-straight ASUN regular-season championships. His teams have been ranked nationally on several occasions by multiple media outlets. Now in his 14th season as a head coach, Butehorn has a 121-92-26 (.561) overall record, 87-60-22 (.580) mark in his 10th season at FGCU and 49-17-6 (.722) record in ASUN contests.
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.