LAKEPOINT, Ga. – Coming off his second hat trick in four games last Tuesday at Rutgers, FGCU’s Albert Ruiz has been named the ASUN Men’s Soccer Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks, as announced by league officials Monday.
Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/ CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) scored all three goals by the 9:02 mark, and is believed to have recorded the fastest hat trick – in terms of time from the start of the game – in NCAA Division-I history. The junior, who helped the #15 Eagles to a 6-5 triumph over the Scarlet Knights, scored at the 5:42, 8:24 and 9:02 marks. The previous record is believed to have been held by Indiana’s Steve Burks, who tallied his three goals 11:41 into a contest with Indiana State on Oct. 6, 1973.
With 3:20 between the first and third goals, Ruiz is the 3rd-fastest player to score three-straight goals at any point of a game in D-I history. He is bettered only by Illinois-Chicago’s John Stone, who did it in 2:15 (28:58-31:13) in 1985, and Saint Joseph’s Kyle Patterson in 2:31 (28:02-30:33) in 2007.
It’s the third-straight week FGCU – which has won a nation-best seven-straight games – has had the ASUN Player of the Week outright, setting a program record. Ruiz was named Player of the Week on Sept. 19 following a program-record seven points and hat trick against nationally-ranked UNCW, and Arion Sobers-Assue (Miami, Fla./DeMatha Catholic HS) garnered the award last Monday following a hat trick of his own versus FAU.
Ruiz is tied for the most goals in the nation this year with 11, and his 1.22 goals-per-game average is the best in the country. He also leads the nation in points per game at 2.78 and ranks 2nd in the country in total points with 25. Both the goal and point totals are already single-season program records as the previous highs were 17 and seven, respectively. Additionally, Ruiz is now tied for the FGCU career record for points (43, Cristian Raudales) and goals (19, Raudales).
With the exception of Sobers-Assue’s eight goals, Ruiz has six more goals than anyone else in the ASUN this year. Additionally, his 25 points are 13 more than any other player in the league, again with the exception being Sobers-Assue’s 18.
Ruiz is the first player in program history with two hat tricks, and it took just 10 days between them. The first men’s soccer season at FGCU was 2007, and it took until Oct. 31, 2010, for a Green and Blue member to record a hat trick when Scott Harrison finally did it versus North Florida. Nearly six years went by before another occurred, and that happened with Ruiz against UNCW on Sept. 17. It then took just three more days for the third hat trick in program history to occur as Sobers-Assue netted three opposite FAU on Sept. 20.
The Eagles have the highest-scoring offense in the nation as they lead the country in goals per game (3.10), points per game (8.80), total goals (31) and total points (88).
FGCU is 7-2-1 on the year and ranked #15 in the nation. The seven-game winning streak is tied with Pacific for the longest in the country. The program record is eight-straight wins, set in 2010 and again in 2012.
In addition to the men’s soccer team’s seven-game winning streak, the FGCU volleyball team has won 15 matches in a row – the best in the nation – and the FGCU women’s soccer team has won five-straight games – tied for the 12th-longest in the country. The three programs have combined to win an incredible 27-straight games.
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 122-92-26 (.563) overall record, 88-60-22 (.582) mark in his 10th season at FGCU and 49-17-6 (.722) record in ASUN contests.
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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.