Myrtle Beach, S.C. - The Florida Gulf Coast University men's soccer team won the opening game of its inaugural season by defeating Coastal Carolina 3-2 in the opening day of action at the CCU/Adidas Invitational.
The win marks the first victory in the Division I program's history.
"This was a big night for the program," said head coach Bob Butehorn. "We have high expectations for FGCU soccer and we have a long way to go, but tonight was exciting for everyone involved."
The Chanticleers got on the board first in the fourth minute of the game when Lachlan Cahill received a pass from Djamel Bekka scored on a powerful shot that swerved and dipped into the low corner of the goal from 20 yards out.
In the 18th minute, several combinations through the midfield slipped Colin Gill (Plant City, Fla.) into the box and behind the defense. Gill cut around the goalkeeper and was taken down viciously from behind. The Coastal goalkeeper was ejected from the game for the foul. Jonathan Koshko (Tampa, Fla.) stepped up and put away the penalty kick, notching the first goal in FGCU men's soccer history.
The first period ended in a 1-1 tie. Coastal Carolina outshot the Eagles five to three in the first period. Both teams had equal saves (1) and corners (3) going into halftime.
FGCU weathered a Coastal push in the early part of the second half, and in the 62nd minute Gill got in behind the defense again, this time on a pass from Trent Anderson (Tampa, Fla.). Gill calmly fired a shot into the top corner from a tough angle, giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead. In the 73rd minute, Anthony Forde (Odessa, Fla.) scored the second FGCU goal of the half when he scored a goal on a two-on-one break with Anderson that gave the Eagles a 3-1 lead. Chris DiNapoli (Palm Harbor, Fla.) also registered an assist on Forde’s goal.
Coastal Carolina, who defeated No. 2 Duke in an exhibition game on Aug. 19, would storm back and score a goal in the 78th minute off of a rip from 15 yards by Djamel Bekka, which cut the Eagles lead to one. FGCU would hold on to take the win after surviving a Coastal Carolina push during the final seven minutes of the game.
FGCU starting keeper Adam Glick (Leola, Pa.) recorded three saves, playing solid in his debut. He had two key close-range saves and controlled his area on all high balls. Coastal outshot FGCU 13-11, while both teams managed five shots on goal. FGCU had three corner kicks while Coastal Carolina earned eight. The Chanticleers committed 15 fouls and had one yellow card and one red card while the Eagles committed 23 fouls and had three yellow cards.
The Eagles will be back in action Sunday when they face Furman at 11:30 am in their final game of the 2007 CCU/Adidas Invitational. The Eagles return home on for their home opener Friday, September 7 at 7 :00 pm, when they host the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV.