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Winners Of Four Straight, FGCU Hosts FAU

Published: September 19, 2016

Matchup: FGCU (4-2-1) vs. FAU (1-3-1)
When: Sept. 20 | 7 PM | FGCU Soccer Complex
Links: Tickets | Video | Stats
Coaches: Bob Butehorn (10th Season @ FGCU, 85-60-22; 14th Overall, 119-92-26) | Kos Donev (28th Season @ FAU, 208-265-33, Same Overall)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Riding a four-game winning streak and coming off a dominant 5-0 victory Saturday over previously unbeaten UNCW, the FGCU men’s soccer team hosts cross-state foe FAU Tuesday at 7 p.m. from the FGCU Soccer Complex.

OPENING KICK
After starting the season 0-2-1, FGCU has outscored its opponents during its winning streak by a margin of 12-3. FAU is coming off a 1-0 setback at home on Saturday night against South Carolina as both teams will enter Tuesday’s contest with just two days off in-between matches.

AMONG THE SOUTHEAST’S BEST
In three weeks, FGCU has moved from unranked to #9 to #6 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Southeast Region Poll. The Eagles are one of three Atlantic Sun Conference members represented in the region, with the others being Jacksonville at #10 and North Florida at #2. A new poll will be unveiled on Tuesday afternoon.

STREAKING
FGCU’s four-game winning streak is currently tied for the 6th-longest streak in the nation. The only teams with better active streaks are: Syracuse and Denver (7), Loyola Chicago (6) and Butler and New Mexico (5). FGCU has not won five in a row since the 2013 season when it rattled off six-straight victories in the middle of the year.

EAGLES vs. OWLS
FAU holds a 4-3-1 lead in the all-time series after the two sides played to a scoreless draw last year in Boca Raton. FGCU claimed a 1-0 win at home in 2014 to go along with victories in 2007 and 2008 – the program’s first two years of existence. FAU won all four of its games consecutively from 2009-13 (the teams did not play each other in 2012).

SCOUTING FAU
FAU opened its season with a 3-0 loss at ASUN member Lipscomb before falling a couple days later to fellow Nashville-based school Belmont, 2-1, in overtime. The Owls got their first win of the season by a 1-0 decision over Niagara in their home opener and then battled Wisconsin to a 1-1 draw at home before the aforementioned contest with South Carolina.

The Owls’ three goals this year have been scored by three different players: Jason Fitzgerald, Elijah McDonald and Niko Gomez. FAU returns 13 letterwinners from last year to go along with 17 newcomers.

STANDOUT PERFORMANCES
Following a record-setting performance Saturday night, junior Albert Ruiz was named the ASUN Player of the Week, while teammate Sawyer Jackman was tabbed as the league’s Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by conference officials Monday.

After not recording a point for the first time all year in FGCU’s 3-1 victory over UCF on Wednesday, Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/ CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) secured just the second hat trick in program history on Saturday. The forward also added an assist on the game-winning goal to finish with a single-game program record seven points. The Player of the Week honor is the second of Ruiz’s career.

Jackman (Chicago, Ill./St. Charles East HS) earned his first career shutout as the sophomore made four saves to post the first clean sheet of the year for the Green and Blue. That came on the heels of a season-high six saves opposite UCF, one shy of matching his career high. The Defensive Player of the Week recognition is the second of the sophomore’s career.

RECAPPING UNCW
The 5-0 triumph over UNCW came against what was at the time just one of six unbeaten and untied teams in the country as the Seahawks ranked just outside the top 25 in nearly every national poll. The victory was the largest non-conference shutout in program history, and tied for the 2nd-biggest all-time.

Making Ruiz’s record-setting evening more impressive is that he did it all in only 50 minutes of action. He scored his goals in the 30th, 42nd and 49th minutes, and assisted on a Jiro Barriga Toyama (Chiba, Japan/Barton CC/Chibakennrituoihama HS) goal in the 15th minute to commence the scoring. Dennis Zapata (Orlando, Fla./University HS) added the closing goal late in the 71st minute from about 40 yards out on a free kick just in front of the FGCU bench.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION
FGCU has scored in each of its first seven games for the first time since 2011. The Eagles rank 10th in the nation in goals (16), 12th in points (47), 12th in shots per game (16.7) and 14th in points per game (6.7) – all categories in which they easily lead the ASUN as well.

Individually, Ruiz ranks 4th in the country in points (17) and 5th in goals (7). Fellow front-line member Dylan Sacramento (Winnipeg, Manitoba/York University/Bill Crothers S.S.) – who is battling a hamstring injury and did not play versus UNCW – is 6th in the nation with 4.67 shots per game.

JACKMAN STEPPING UP
After head coach Bob Butehorn alternated goalkeepers the first four games of the year, Jackman has gotten the nod each of the last four times out and is now 4-0-1 on the year with a goals-against average of 0.96. His 21 saves and save percentage of .808 are both 2nd in the ASUN, while his GAA is 4th-best in the league.

ANIMO, THOMAS
FGCU lost freshman central defender Thomas Delplace (Toulouse, France/Scientific Bac) for the year with a broken leg suffered just more than three minutes into the Eagles’ match at UCF on Sept. 14. Delplace cut across the box and legally challenged what would have been a quality Knights’ scoring chance, but his shin collided with the attacking UCF player’s leg.

In honor of their teammate, FGCU players have started to wear T-shirts in pre-game with text that reads “Animo Thomas” – which translates to “Cheer Up, Thomas” in Spanish.

DID YOU KNOW?
FGCU owns the longest home conference regular-season unbeaten streak in the nation at 28 straight (25-0-3). The Eagles have not lost a home ASUN regular-season game in nearly eight years, dating back to a 2-0 defeat against Jacksonville in October of 2008 – the program’s second season.

NEXT UP
FGCU begins ASUN play with its first-ever match against NJIT (3-2-2) on the Highlanders’ pseudo home field in Union, N.J., on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. NJIT’s new soccer stadium is under construction, so the Highlanders – who joined the ASUN last year but their men’s soccer team remained in the Sun Belt Conference – are playing their home games at Kean University. The Eagles will remain in the New York City area for a few days before playing Rutgers on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m.

FGCU Career Records

 

GOALS

 

 

 

POINTS

 

1

Cristian Raudales (08-11)

19

 

1

Cristian Raudales (08-11)

43

2

Felipe DeSousa (12-14)

18

 

2

Felipe DeSousa (12-14)

38

3

Albert Ruiz (14-16)

15

 

3

Albert Ruiz (14-16)

35

4

Henry Penagos (10-14)

13

 

4

Josey Portillo (08-11)

31

5

Scott Harrison (08-11)

12

 

5

Scott Harrison (08-11)

30

 

 

 

 

 

Francesco DiStefano (08-11)

30

 

FGCU Single-Season Records

 

GOALS

 

 

 

POINTS

 

1

Albert Ruiz (2016)

7

 

1

Albert Ruiz (2016)

17

 

Albert Ruiz (2015)

7

 

 

Deion Jones (2010)

17

 

Felipe DeSousa (2012)

7

 

 

Scott Harrison (2008)

17

 

Cristian Raudales (2011)

7

 

4

Albert Ruiz (2015)

16

 

Deion Jones (2010)

7

 

5

Felipe DeSousa (2012)

15

6

Eight Tied

6

 

 

Three Others Tied

15

TICKET INFORMATION
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.

FOLLOW ALONG
or 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.

COACH BUTEHORN
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 119-92-26 (.557) overall record, 85-60-22 (.575) mark in his 10th season at FGCU and 48-17-6 (.718) record in ASUN contests.

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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