MACON, Ga. – Coming off one of the best performances by a true freshman goalkeeper in FGCU program history, Sawyer Jackman was named Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, league officials announced Monday. Also on Monday, the NCAA released its first official RPI rankings of the year, and FGCU (2-2-1) is ranked No. 14.
Jackman (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East HS) made seven saves on the road against Brown on Friday night, helping preserve a 2-1 FGCU win. Four of the seven stops came in the final 30 minutes of the game, and the only goal he allowed came on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute.
The seven saves are tied for the second-most in program history by a freshman (Adam Glick, 2007), and the seven stops are tied for the eighth-most by any keeper in program history. Additionally, the seven saves are tied for the second-most by any goalkeeper in the A-Sun this year.
Making his second-consecutive start in net in place of one of the best goalkeepers in the country in Nathan Ingham (Keswick, Ontario/Keswick HS), Jackman has allowed three goals, two on penalty kicks, and made 12 saves in 180 minutes. His first collegiate action came as he replaced Ingham – who is still recovering from a sprained ankle – on Sept. 10 against Princeton, allowing one goal over 41 minutes.
Jackman is the second FGCU player this season to be named A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week as fellow freshman Preston Kilwien (Pleasant Hill, Calif./College Park HS/Campolindo HS) garnered the award on Sept. 14 after scoring the game-winning goal against Princeton in the 89th minute which made national headlines.
Dating back to last year it’s now the fifth A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week honor FGCU has claimed in 16 possible weeks, including two by Ingham and one by Aaron Guillen (El Paso, Texas/Coronado HS). Over that same time period, no other school in the A-Sun has had more than three A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week awards.
“Sawyer played a great game against Brown. It was a difficult contest and environment for him, and I’m so proud of what he was able to accomplish,” said head coach Bob Butehorn. “He played within himself, made the stops he needed to make and got us a really great result. For him to be the second freshman already this year for us who has won the award speaks to the depth that we have up and down the roster. He’s done a great job filling in for Nate.”
Ingham is just one of several starters who have missed significant time this year with injuries, making the No. 14 RPI ranking for the Eagles even more profound. All five of FGCU’s opponents this year are ranked in the top 100 of the initial NCAA RPI list, including No. 1 Wake Forest, No. 8 USF, No. 21 Georgetown, No. 54 Princeton and No. 99 Brown.
FGCU dropped one-goal games at both Wake Forest, 1-0, and USF, 2-1, tied Georgetown, 0-0, and defeated Princeton, 3-2, and Brown, 2-1. In a testament to the strength of the non-conference schedule, the Eagles – who along with Columbia have played the fewest games in the nation – are the only team in the top 25 of the RPI with a .500 record.
The RPI is one of the most important factors the selection committee utilizes when considering teams for postseason at-large berths and seeding in the NCAA Tournament. In addition to Wake Forest, USF and Georgetown, FGCU also still has non-conference games left against two more teams in the top 25 of the RPI as it will host FIU (25) on Oct. 20 and travel to UNC-Wilmington (12) on Oct. 31.
Earlier this year FGCU was ranked No. 19 in the country in Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 25 Poll after drawing then-No. 3 Georgetown, the highest it had been ranked during the regular season in any national poll since 2010.
FGCU will put that No. 14 RPI ranking on display Wednesday, Sept. 30, when the Eagles begin A-Sun play by hosting Jacksonville (2-5-1) at the FGCU Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. The Eagles have an incredible overall record of 32-4-3 in all A-Sun regular-season games since the start of the 2010 season. All four of those conference losses have come on the road, and out of a possible 117 points that could have been earned in that time, the Eagles have claimed an impressive 99 of them.
Additionally, FGCU owns the longest home regular-season conference unbeaten streak in the nation. FGCU has not lost a home regular-season A-Sun game since 2008, a stretch of 26 in a row in which the Eagles are unbeaten (23-0-3). Included in that run is a 19-game winning streak. FGCU’s last home regular-season A-Sun loss came to Jacksonville, 2-0, on Oct. 19, 2008.
RPI TOP 25 (RECORD)
1) Wake Forest (7-1-1)
2) North Carolina (7-0-1)
3) Clemson (6-1-2)
4) Notre Dame (6-2-1)
5) Creighton (8-0-0)
6) Akron (5-2-1)
7) Denver (7-0-1)
8) USF (6-2-0)
9) South Carolina (5-2-1)
10) Coastal Carolina (6-0-1)
11) Elon (8-1-0)
12) UNC-Wilmington (6-1-1)
13) Syracuse (5-2-1)
14) FGCU (2-2-1)
15) New Mexico (5-2-1)
16) Seattle (7-2-0)
17) Boston College (6-2-0)
18) Cal Poly (5-2-1)
19) Hofstra (6-2-0)
20) UC Santa Barbara (5-3-1)
21) Georgetown (5-2-2)
22) Stanford (7-1-0)
23) Old Dominion (5-1-1)
24) NC State (6-2-1)
25) FIU (6-2-0)
BOLD Denotes FGCU Opponent
Single-game tickets are available starting at just $7 for adults, $5 for youth (3-12) and $20 for a family pack. More information, including additional special discounts and group rates, can be accessed by logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/tickets or by clicking here. 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.
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 45 A-Sun All-Conference selections since FGCU started its program in 2007. In just four years of postseason eligibility, Butehorn has guided FGCU to three A-Sun Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances – in 2011, 2012 and 2014 – and has won an unprecedented five-straight A-Sun regular-season championships. His teams have been ranked nationally on several occasions by multiple media outlets. Now in his 13th season as a head coach, Butehorn has a 110-89-23 (.545) overall record, 76-57-19 (.563) mark in his 9th season at FGCU and 44-17-5 (.705) record in A-Sun 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.