Conference Play Set to Begin for Men's Soccer
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | by Caleb Baker

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU Men’s Soccer team will head to Jacksonville, Fla. for a pair of conference games this weekend. The Eagles will face North Florida on Friday at 7 p.m. and Jacksonville on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Eagles will take the field this weekend after competing against UC Riverside and UNLV at the Rebel Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. The Eagles defeated UC Riverside 3-0 on goals by Freshmen Westin Vallentine, Jelani Smith, and Donatto Punyed and fell to UNLV 3-2 in their second match.

The Eagles have received solid minutes from Freshman Westin Vallentine, who leads the team in goals (4), shots on goal (7), and game winning goals (1). Vallentine is also tied for first in the A-Sun in goals with four and tied for second in points with eight.

FGCU goal keeper Matthew Smith is third in the A-Sun with 30 saves through seven games. Smith is also second in the conference in goals against average (1.21) with a save percentage of .769 in 668 minutes played.


Series Information with North Florida: This is the third meeting between the schools. FGCU Leads 2-0-0 

Last meeting 10/17/08, FGCU 7, North Florida 1
The Florida Gulf Coast University men's soccer team scored a program record seven goals and used a pair of two-goal performances from Francesco DiStefano (Kissimmee, Fla.) and Scott Harrison (Cocoa, Fla.) to defeat North Florida by the score of 7-1.

The 7-1 final score gave the young Eagles their largest margin of victory in program history.

FGCU scored first to take an early 1-0 lead and never looked back. In the third minute Harrison blasted a shot that deflected off an UNF defender and into the back of the net.

The Eagles added to their lead less than four minutes later. Jon Hohn (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) was taken down in the box, giving FGCU a penalty kick. Manuel Gonzalez (Pompano Beach, Fla.) stepped up and beat the keeper and gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead with more than 35 minutes remaining in the half.

UNF got on the board at the 8:11 mark, when Steven Lowenthal got behind the defense and snuck a shot past a diving Adam Glick (Leola, Pa.) to cut the FGCU lead down to one.

At the 21:36 mark, DiStefano sent a perfect cross to Harrison, who sent a header past the keeper and into the top left corner of the goal to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead.

FGCU would add to their lead just before halftime when DiStefano knocked a shot past the UNF keeper off a pass from Josey Portillo (Metairie, La.).

The Eagles dominated the second half as they got goals from Cristian Raudales (Bradenton, Fla.), Portillo and Distefano, while shutting down the Osprey offense.

FGCU starting keeper Adam Glick recorded three saves in goal for the Eagles and registered his first A-Sun win of the season.

FGCU finished with twice as many shots as the Ospreys as they outshot UNF 19-9.


Series Information with Jacksonville: This is the third meeting between the schools. FGCU trails 0-2-0.

Last Meeting 10/19/08, FGCU 0, Jacksonville 2
The Florida Gulf Coast University men's soccer dropped its fourth conference match of the season by losing to Jacksonville 2-0.

The first period ended with Jacksonville taking a 1-1 lead into the intermission. FGCU was outshot 5-2 in the first half.

In the second half, the young Eagles had opportunities to score but came up short, as JU went on to add another goal in the 86th minute and took the victory.

JU goalkeeper Joey Sanchez picked up the shutout while Adam Glick (Leola, Pa.) notched four stops in the loss.