Princeton, N.J. – In a game which didn’t have its first shot put on goal until the 80th minute, freshman Will Suedois scored his first collegiate goal three minutes in to overtime to break a scoreless tie and give the FGCU men’s soccer team (2-5-1) its second straight extra-session win, this time over Princeton (2-5-0) Sunday afternoon in front of a national TV audience on ESPNU by the score of 1-0.
At the 3:16 mark of overtime, Suedois (Miami Shores, Fla./Florida Virtual School) corralled a pass from sophomore Felipe DeSousa (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) near the top of the box, made one move to his left and fired a shot low with his left foot passed the charging Princeton goalkeeper to cap FGCU’s non-conference schedule with consecutive wins.
“We were very, very tired and just thoroughly exhausted, but we made some big saves, came up clutch in a few moments and proved to ourselves that we can shut out a team,” head coach Bob Butehorn said of FGCU’s first shutout of the season. “I think the most important item for us was that we shut a team out at its home venue where it hadn’t lost this year.”
The game was contested primarily in the middle third of the pitch, with FGCU controlling the pace of play in the first half and the Tigers having thebetter of the play in the second 45 minutes. In the first half, FGCU out-shot its Ivy League competition, 4-3, including a 1-0 edge in corners. In the second half, Princeton held a 12-4 advantage in shots and a 3-0 disparity in corner opportunities.
Making his second straight start in net, Danny George (Safety Harbor, Fla./Countryside HS) made a crucial stop in the 80th minute off a set piece to keep a clean sheet and afford FGCU a chance to claim the victory. Following an Eagles foul, Princeton’s ball from the left flank of the field ultimately found its way on to the foot of Cameron Porter, who tried to surprise the sophomore keeper by heel-flicking the ball passed him. However, George made the stop – his only one of the afternoon – as 15 of Princeton’s 16 shots weren’t on frame.
Similarly, the Green and Blue attempted two shots – both by Suedois, who played just 33 minutes – and both came within 30 seconds of each other. The first effort was stopped by Tigers keeper Seth MacMillan, but the second – which started with DeSousa flipping a pass up over Princeton defenders to create space for Suedois – found the back of the net as the Eagles earned the win in their fifth overtime game of the year already, including their third straight.
Sophomore George, who has split time this year with Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS), earned his first career shutout and moved his record to 2-3-1 on the campaign.
The meeting was the first all-time between FGCU and Princeton and capped a long, lengthy 8,780-mile roadtrip over the past two weekends which took the Eagles from SWFL to the Northwest, back to Fort Myers and then to the Northeast. FGCU began its weekend with a 3-2 overtime victory over Penn on Friday night.
The game with the Tigers marked the second consecutive weekend that the Eagles were on national TV. Last week opposite now-No. 5 Washington they were showcased on the Pac-12 Network, and their season opener at USF was shown as the NSCAATV National Game of the Week.
The victory also concluded an overall dominant weekend by the FGCU’s men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball teams as the trio collectively went a perfect 6-0.
FGCU now begins its Atlantic Sun Conference Championship title defense as the Eagle commence league play next weekend at the FGCU Soccer Complex. The Green and Blue begin the weekend with a 7 p.m. kickoff against Lipscomb on Friday before entertaining Northern Kentucky in its lone afternoon home match of the season on Sunday at 1.
2013-14 men’s soccer season tickets are now available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.