FORT MYERS, Fla. – Freshman Rodrigo Saravia’s (Guatemala City, Guatemala/College Internacional Montessori) first career goal in the 27th minute proved to be the difference, as the FGCU men’s soccer team extended its Atlantic Sun home win streak to 14 games with a 1-0 shutout of USC Upstate on Friday night at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
The Eagles have a 15-game A-Sun home unbeaten streak (14-0-1) that dates back to the end of the 2008 season, but more importantly picked up their first conference win of the season to now stand at 4-5-2 overall and 1-1-1 in the league. The win also avoided the team’s first A-Sun losing streak since 2008.
USC Upstate falls to 3-7-1 on the year and 1-2 in the A-Sun with the loss. FGCU owns a 5-0-1 all-time mark against the Spartans with a shutout in five of the six meetings. The Green and Blue will close out their weekend conference homestand on Sunday with a 2 p.m. showdown against North Florida.
“I’m proud of the guys and excited about the win and their effort,” said head coach Bob Butehorn. “Coach Hooks has done a great job with his team and it was a very difficult game. The big thing with this group is that they’re trying to find out their identity and with each day we are getting there.”
One of four freshmen in the starting lineup and one of seven rookies that saw time in the game, Saravia’s goal at the 27:57 mark came on a great individual play in the midfield. After a pass from fellow freshman defender Aaron Guillen (Chihuahua, Mexico/Coronado HS-Texas), Saravia weaved his way through the USC Upstate defense and fired a left-footed shot into the right corner of the net for game’s lone goal. Saravia is the eighth different player to score this season for FGCU.
Sophomore keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) preserved FGCU’s third shutout of the year with two saves, both of which came with under 12 minutes to play in the game. During its current 15-game home unbeaten streak, FGCU has posted nine shutouts and out-scored its opponents 45-8.
Live stats and video through A-Sun TV are available for Sunday’s game against UNF at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com. A-Sun TV is free for all users in 2012-13, announced by the league office in August. Along with updates on the team’s official twitter page (@FGCU_MSoccer), fans can also get updates from around the Atlantic Sun and the nation by using the hashtag #ASUNMSOC or #D1MSOC.