Kilwien’s Late Strike Gives FGCU 1-0 Win
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Defender Preston Kilwien used every bit of his 6-foot-4-inch frame Tuesday night as the junior soared over a UCF player in the 80th minute to finish an FGCU corner and give the Eagles (2-3-1) a much-needed 1-0 victory over in-state foe UCF (1-3-1) at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
The designed set piece started with Chris Clement taking the corner. The ball eventually ended up getting bounded back across the 18-yard box to Kilwien (San Francisco, Calif./College Park HS). FGCU’s tallest player rose up and had just enough air underneath the header to send it above the overstretched arms of UCF keeper Matt Rosenberg for his team-leading third goal of the season.
In net, redshirt freshman Connor Gavigan (Aurora, Colo./Creighton/Grandview HS) made two saves for his second career shutout as the Eagles secured their first home clean sheet against a non-conference opponent in nearly exactly one year – 5-0 versus UNCW on Sept. 17, 2016.
“We took a lot of pride in being on our home field,” stated FGCU head coach Jesse Cormier as the athletic department once again did not charge for admission in the wake of Hurricane Irma. “The biggest difference between our 2-2 tie on Friday against Loyola Marymount and tonight was that we were able to finish the game this evening. We had some scary moments near the end. But I thought we had a good idea of how we wanted to play and things we wanted to do, and the guys executed that and were very disciplined in their approach.”
While the final scoreline was just 1-0, the Eagles finished the match with an 11-7 shot advantage and dominated in the corner category with an 8-1 edge.
The Eagles had the first scoring chance of the night in the 8th minute as Dylan Sacramento (Winnipeg, Manitoba/York University/Bill Crothers S.S.) and Clement (Mallorca, Spain/Lycee Francais de Palma) teamed up off a corner to send a ball into the box where Robert Ferrer (Barcelona, Spain/Brevard College/IES Calamot) had gotten free. However, his uncontested header just missed outside the left post.
That shot was the second in the opening minutes for FGCU, but after that much of the action was contested in the middle third of the pitch as two veteran, talented midfields battled for possession and scoring chances. In the run of play, those were hard to come by for both teams; however the Eagles were able to orchestrate the first four corners of the match but couldn’t find the back of the net.
The FGCU midfield was the first to create a tremendous chance in the 40th minute when Miguel Jaime and Arion Sobers-Assue partnered up in the center of the pitch to open up enough space for Sobers-Assue to feed Shak Adams (Antioch, Tenn./Cane Ridge HS) out wide. The sophomore took one touch with his right foot, crossed back to his left and ripped a low shot from point-blank range which was saved by Rosenberg.
The Green and Blue continued to tilt the pitch in their favor late in the half as just a few minutes later they created another chance. Once again it was Jaime (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek HS) threading a perfect pass in-between the two UCF middle defenders, but Sobers-Assue (Miami, Fla./DeMatha Catholic HS) had his right-footed shot from just inside the box barely miss the far-left post.
The two sides hit the halftime break scoreless, but the Eagles held a 5-0 edge in corners at intermission, in addition to a 4-2 shot advantage.
Sobers-Assue continued to be a bother to the UCF backline and once again nearly put FGCU in front early in the 2nd half. Off turnover, he took a couple touches and quickly rifled off a right-footed shot which nearly snuck inside the near post from 18 yards, but instead it rattled off the right post in the 56th minute to keep the match scoreless.
FGCU continued to keep up the pressure, earning its 7th corner of the night – compared with none for UCF at the time – in the 64th minute, but couldn’t put across the go-ahead strike.
Following a UCF foul in the 77th minute, Kilwien drove a patented left-footed shot from distance off the free kick just over the crossbar from about 25 yards out, but did not miss when given the chance to convert his second-career game-winning goal a few minutes later.
As has been the case all season, FGCU was again without several key players and starters, including leading scorer Dennis Zapata (Orlando, Fla./University HS), ASUN Preseason Player of the Year Albert Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/UE Cornella/CE L’Hospitalet) and ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team member Kamar Marriott (Tampa, Fla./Heritage HS) because of injuries.
FGCU will now turn its focus and look to take the first step in its ASUN title defense as the Eagles commence league play on Saturday, Sept. 23, at home against Jacksonville at 7 p.m. FGCU and JU met in the ASUN Championship Final last year at the FGCU Soccer Complex, with the Green and Blue claiming a 3-2 victory.
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 116-92-48 (.547 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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