FORT MYERS, Fla. – After surrendering the equalizer late in regulation, the FGCU men’s soccer team kept its composure and picked up its first victory of the season, as senior forward William Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS) buried the golden goal in the 106th minute of double-overtime to send the Eagles past Bucknell, 2-1, in the 2012 home opener at the FGCU Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The win moved the Eagles record to 1-2 on the young season as they prepare for a trip to the USF Tournament against Iona College and No. 27 South Carolina. Meanwhile, the Bison leave Fort Myers with a 0-1-2 record this season.
“It was a good performance because we had most of the ball and most of the opportunities, but it was also a maturing performance for us because we needed a win,” said head coach Bob Butehorn. “There are a lot of good things we did and I'm pleased with the win.”
Playing with a man advantage from the fourth minute on, the Eagles made good use of the opportunity with a commanding 28-2 edge in the shot column, including a 10-0 advantage at the intermission.
The Green and Blue broke the scoreless contest in the 52nd minute when freshman Rodrigo Saravia (Guatemala City, Guatemala/College Internacional Montessori) played a ball in from the left side and found sophomore Santiago Echeverri (Kissimmee, Fla./Celebration HS) inside the box, who finished to the lower left corner for the 1-0 lead. The goal is the first of Echeverri’s collegiate career.
FGCU’s lead would hold late into the contest until Bucknell netted the equalizer at the 83:36 mark off the foot of midfielder Joe Meyer to the left side net from about 10 yards out.
The teams maintained the 1-1 draw over the final six minutes of regulation, as FGCU embarked on its first overtime contest of the year, while it was Bucknell’s third straight to open the season. The Bison earned 1-1 ties against VCU and Butler last weekend.
The Eagles took all five shots over the two extra periods, with Morse’s golden goal accounting for the last strike in the game. Picking up his second assist, Saravia played the ball to Morse just outside the box. Morse volleyed the ball over the Bucknell defender on the right side of the box where the defender could have been called for handball, but the lead official allowed Morse to play on, resulting in a shot across the keeper to the lower left corner for the dramatic victory.
In addition to the 28-2 shot differential, the Eagles finished with a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. Sophomore keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) was forced to make a trio of saves for his first victory in net this season. Meanwhile, Bucknell’s Mike Lansing – the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week - recorded six stops in the contest.
The Green and Blue now take the road for the second time this season, as they open the USF Tournament against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) member Iona on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUMensSoccer), results, recaps and previews are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.