FGCU Scores Early and Often to Defeat North Florida 5-0

FGCU Scores Early and Often to Defeat North Florida 5-0

ATLANTA, Fla. - After scoring just one goal in its last two matches, the FGCU men's soccer team's (8-5-1, 4-1-0 ASUN) offense erupted, taking down UNF (3-10-0, 2-3-0) on Senior Night, 5-0, Wednesday evening at the FGCU Soccer Complex.

It's the fifth time this season FGCU has reached the five-goal mark – tying a season-best – the last one coming back in September in the 5-3 win over USF.

Before the match, the Green and Blue honored its six seniors in Jason Van AchterenRaheem SomersallJordan LueDennis ZapataPreston Kilwienand Kamar Marriott.

"We really wanted to get things on track as we get into the final games of the conference, so I thought today was a great step," said head coach Jesse Cormier. "It was one of the games where we finally seemed to compete for 90 minutes and attack. I thought the guys comprehensively and cohesively defended. When these guys come together and are complete, we're tough to beat and we haven't really been able to put that together until now, so we're hopeful we can continue that form going into the weekend."

FGCU got on the board twice within the first 11 minutes as the Eagles used a UNF own goal and senior Zapata (Orlando, Fla./University HS) scoring on a penalty kick for his second tally of the year. The offense continued to roll with three second-half goals, all coming after the 60th-minute mark as the Eagles capped off a dominating regular-season home finale against UNF, cruising to 5-0 victory.

Following the own goal provided by the Ospreys in the 4th minute, Zapata connected with O'Vonte Mullings (Toronto, Ontario/ Northview Heights Secondary) on a well-placed through ball from midfield, as he sprinted into the box only to get fouled by the keeper, giving the Eagles a penalty kick. Zapata stepped up and drilled a shot to the bottom left corner for the score.

The Green and Blue would fire off four more shots for a total of five in the first period, holding UNF to just two shots with none coming on frame. Both squads ended the first half with two corners apiece.

Gustavo Vasconcelos (Recife, Brazil/Colegio GGE) was tested for the second time in the 50th minute but the Brazil native maintained the clean sheet.

Meanwhile, FGCU's offense struck again 11 minutes later, this time Miguel Perez (Caracas, Venezuela/Cypress Bay) extended the Eagle's lead to 3-0 in the 62nd minute. After snagging a ball in the air off a corner, Vasconcelos quickly threw an over-handed pass to Mullings on the right side. The freshman beat his only defender on the dribble and crossed a pass to a sprinting Perez who finished with the one-timer – his first goal of the season.

Once again using the right side of the pitch, the Eagles quickly countered, netting their fourth goal of the match two minutes later. After a small touch pass from Ivan Rosales (Pasadena, Texas/Sam Rayburn/San Jacinto) found Titouan Le Menec (Guipavas, France/STMG/Bluefield), the France native dribbled nearly 40 yards into the penalty box before crossing it at the last second to Mullings for the easy tap-in.

In control with a 4-0 lead, Joao Burti (Sao Paulo, Brazil/South Kent/Iowa Western)  put the finishing touches netting his fourth goal of the year in the 86th minute. On the far left side, Burti shed of two defenders before striking a right-footed shot from just outside the 18-yard box to give the Eagles their fifth and final goal.

All said FGCU fired off 18 shots as nine were on goal while the defense limited the visitors to six shots with two coming on frame. The Eagles also held a 6-3 advantage on corners.

Vasconcelos moves to 7-3-1 on the year while Mullings (1g, 1a) led the Eagles with three points on the night.

School Pts ASUN Overall
FGCU* 12 4-1-0 8-5-1
Lipscomb 12 4-1-0 6-9-0
Jacksonville* 9 3-2-0 3-11-0
Liberty* 7 2-3-1 7-6-1
North Florida 6 2-2-0 3-9-0
Stetson 4 1-3-1 6-8-1
NJIT 3 1-4-0 6-9-0
FGCU will hit the road for its regular-season finale against Jacksonville (3-11-0, 3-2-0) this Saturday at 7 p.m. With a win, the Eagles would secure at least a share of the ASUN and a first-round bye heading into the ASUN Championships.