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DiNapoli Scores the Game-Winner as FGCU Takes Down Georgia State in OT
Boca Raton, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University men's soccer team got a goal from freshman Chris DiNapoli (Palm Harbor, Fla.) in the ninth minute of overtime to secure a 3-2 victory over Georgia State in the FAU Classic on Friday. The Eagles improve their record to 3-1 while the Panthers fall to 1-2-1.
The Eagles got on the board first in the 22nd minute of the game when Alex Cooper (DeLand, Fla.) scored his first collegiate goal when he buried a long distance shot off a free kick that got by Georgia State goalkeeper, Iain MacGowan.
The Eagles defense would stand strong and shutout the Panthers in the first period, as FGCU took a 1-0 lead going into halftime. FGCU outshot Georgia State 9-4 but lost the corner kick battle 5-4 in the half.
The Panthers stormed out of the gate to begin the second period as Floreal Pedrazo scored goals in both the 59th and 65th minute to give Georgia State a 2-1 lead. Pedrazo’s first goal came off a penalty kick while his second goal came when he got behind the defense and beat keeper Adam Glick (Leola, Pa.) one-on-one. Despite giving up back-to-back goals less than seven minutes apart, the Eagles never wavered. The Panthers held their 2-1 lead until the 84th minute when freshman Matthew O’Shaughnessy (Trinity, Fla.) took advantage of a Georgia State defensive mistake and got behind the defense to blast a strong ball past the Georgia State keeper for the equalizing goal. The goal was O’Shaughnessy’s second of the season.
With the score tied at 2-2 the teams made strong efforts to score during the final six minutes of the period, but both failed to do so, sending the contest into overtime.
The Eagles would only need 9:22 of the overtime period as Matt Piccoli (Selden, N.Y.) dribbled a ball through the defense and found an open DiNapoli, who fired in the game-winner from 16 yards out. The goal was DiNapoli’s second of the season and also his second game-winning goal, with the other coming on Sept. 7 vs. UNLV.
“We had another battle tonight, and we learned a lot about the character of this young group,” said Head Coach Bob Butehorn. “We made a few mistakes, but it was another good lesson and we are always happy to come away with a win.”
Georgia State’s MacGowan tallied seven saves while Glick notched one stop for FGCU. The Eagles outshot the Panthers 12-10 but lost the corner kick battle 7-6. Jonathan Koshko (Tampa, Fla.) led the Eagles in shots (4) and shots on goal (4).
FGCU will be back in action on Sunday to play their second game of the FAU Classic against Iona at 11 am.
GAME NOTES: Anthony Forde (Odessa, Fla.) received 2 yellow cards and according to the NCAA Rule Book, those two yellow cards become a RED CARD, thus forcing Forde to sit out Sunday's game.