Eagles end Bulls’ 30-game home unbeaten streak
TAMPA, Fla. – The FGCU men’s soccer team opened the 2010 campaign in style on Wednesday night, using a pair of second half goals to defeat No. 13 USF, 2-1, in front of 1,424 fans at USF Soccer Stadium.
The win marks FGCU’s first-ever over a ranked opponent in the brief four-year history of the program and improves its record in season openers to 3-1, all of which have come on the road. Fresh-off an exhibition win over preseason No. 1 and 2009 national runner-up Akron, the loss snaps a 30-game home unbeaten streak (26-0-4) for USF. The last loss for the Bulls at home came on Sept. 20, 2007 against Connecticut.
“I’m really proud of the guys for coming out ready to go and earning this win,” said reigning Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year Bob Butehorn. “USF is a tremendous team that will make a lot of noise this season so this is a big win for us. We feel really good about where we are this early in the season, but we have a long season ahead of us that I’m really excited for.”
A native of Tampa, Fla., sophomore Deion Jones was the hero on the night with three points. Playing in front of his family and friends, Jones assisted on the game’s first goal and scored the eventual game-winner. Freshman Ryan Price, who was recently named one of the top 100 freshmen in the country by College Soccer News, scored the other goal.
After producing a 9-2 shot advantage in the first half that resulted in a 0-0 tie at the break, FGCU began to let momentum slip away early in the final frame until a red card was issued to USF’s Hasani Sinclair at the 53:27 mark.
Now playing a man up, FGCU capitalized quickly with the game’s first goal less than four minutes after the red card. Jones carried the ball up the right side of the field and found Price in the center of the goal for a diving header that resulted in a 1-0 lead.
Less than three minutes later, Jones struck again, this time, scoring the eventual game-winner at exactly the 60-minute mark. Senior Jonathan Koshko found a streaking Jones through the center of the field and the sophomore drilled a shot into the upper part of the net from 12 yards out.
Despite enduring a barrage of FGCU shots that ended in a 23-9 advantage for the visitors, the Bulls continued to battle and their hard work paid off in the 78th minute when they drew a penalty kick. USF’s Kevin Olali made good on the penalty kick to cut the score to 2-1.
Like a majority of the game, the last 10 minutes were played at a frantic pace, but the Eagles were able to fight off a late run by the Bulls to secure the win and revenge last year’s 1-0 loss to a then-No. 11 ranked USF.
Making his first official start since the 2008 season, redshirt junior Adam Glick turned away three shots to earn the win in net.
Price accounted for seven of the team’s 23 shots that included 15 on goal. USF held a 13-5 advantage in corner kicks in a game that featured a combined 44 fouls and 10 yellow cards.
The opening 45 minutes featured plenty of scoring chances for FGCU, but nothing materialized for either side as the two teams battled to a 0-0 halftime score.
A majority of FGCU’s 9-2 shot advantage in the first half came over the opening 23 minutes of the period, as the visitor’s accounted for six of the first seven shots of the game. Price accounted for five of the shots, including three on net in the 10th, 18th and 29 minute, respectively.
FGCU gave USF a big scare in the 18th minute when sophomore Josey Portillo’s shot was deflected just wide off the net leading to a corner kick. The Eagles connected on the corner kick just seconds later as Price took the pass from sophomore Andres Navas and worked the goal line to put right at the USF goalie.
Despite holding a 6-2 edge in corner kicks, the Bulls came with away with just one shot on goal at the 15:24 mark that was turned away by a diving save to the right by Glick.
FGCU will be back in action this weekend at the Richmond Classic. The Eagles will begin the tournament by taking on host VCU on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
The all-time series between the two teams is now tied, 1-1 … the win is FGCU’s first over a ranked opponent and second against a BCS school … Eagles defeated Big Ten foe Penn State in 2008 … sophomore Deion Jones had just two points his entire freshman season and three tonight … freshman Ryan Price scored both of the team’s goals in the preseason and tonight’s first goal … redshirt junior Adam Glick picked up his 15th career win in net … 11 cards (1 red, 10 yellow) were handed out in tonight’s game … FGCU put an end to USF’s 30-game home unbeaten streak … last year the Eagles stopped Campbell’s 18-game Atlantic Sun unbeaten streak.