FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s soccer team will officially open the 2010 campaign on Wednesday evening with a tough road contest against No. 13 USF in Tampa, Fla. at the USF Soccer Stadium. Kick-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Under the direction of fourth-year head coach and reigning Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year Bob Butehorn, FGCU is 2-1 all-time in season openers, all of which have come on the road. The Blue and Green return 23 players, including five All-Conference performers, from the 2009 club that went 8-7-1 overall and 6-3 in the A-Sun, winning five of its last seven games and marking the first winning season in program history. As voted on by the conference coaches, the Eagles were predicted to repeat their third place finish this season in the A-Sun preseason poll.
FGCU went 1-0-1 over two exhibition contests last week, posting a pair of shutouts. Freshman forward Ryan Price accounted for both goals during the Eagles’ 2-0 victory over the University of Tampa. This past Saturday, FGCU battled Rollins College to a 0-0 draw in a contest that featured 45 fouls.
The game will mark the second straight season the two teams have met. Last year, then-No. 11 USF tallied a goal in the 87th minute to escape the FGCU Soccer Complex with the win. The Eagles had plenty of scoring chances in the game as they out-shot the Bulls 10-8, including a pair of shots that caromed off the crossbar.
In 2009, USF advanced to the second round of the 2009 BIG EAST Championships and then to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Bulls finished with a 14-4-3 overall record and a 6-3-2 record in the BIG EAST Conference. Playing four games this preseason, the Bulls went 2-0-2, giving up just two goals. USF took down preseason No. 1 and 2009 national runner-up Akron this past Sunday in Tampa by a 2-1 margin.
Live stats and video of the game will be available at www.gousfbulls.com.