FORT MYERS, Fla. – In the first exhibition contest of the young season, a pair of goals off the foot of freshman forward Ryan Price (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne HS) moved the FGCU men’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over the University of Tampa on Wednesday evening at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
“It was a good first game and a great chance to see our young guys play,” said head coach Bob Butehorn. “I feel the team played well, gave some solid minutes and it was a good overall outing.”
Despite maintaining possession throughout the majority of the first half and outshooting the Spartans 8-2, the competition remained scoreless at the intermission.
The Eagles broke the deadlock midway through the second period when the freshmen duo of Nick Patterson (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake HS) and Price combined for the game’s first goal. Patterson found Price with a well executed through-ball from the middle of the box to left side of the goal. Price then fired the ball into the lower right-hand corner of the net.
In 84th minute, Price scored his second goal of the evening with the help of sophomore Donatto Punyed (Doral, Fla./Doral Senior HS) to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. Following the entry from Punyed, Price froze the defender on a nice move and sent the shot past the keeper into the lower left corner of the goal.
The Blue and Green finished the evening with a commanding 19-3 shot advantage and 9-1 lead on corner kicks.
Senior keeper Matt Smith (Cape Canaveral, Fla./Coastal Carolina) logged all 90 minutes in goal for the shutout.
The Eagles land back at home on Saturday, August 28 at 4 p.m. for the final exhibition match with Rollins College. The regular season gets underway with a road contest at No. 16 USF in Tampa, Fla. on Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m.