FORT MYERS, Fla. – Opening the season with back-to-back victories for the first time in program history, the FGCU men’s soccer team earned the fifth spot in the NSCAA South Regional poll and 23 votes in the first NSCAA/adidas Top 25 poll of the year. The Eagles will take their 2-1 record on the road this weekend for a pair of contests against Marquette and Valparaiso at the Marquette Invitational in Milwaukee, Wis.
Meeting for the first time with the respective schools, the weekend event will slate FGCU against host Marquette (0-1-1) on Friday, September 10 at 8:05 p.m. before a matchup with Valparaiso (2-0-0) on Sunday, September 12 at 3:05 p.m.
The Eagles opened the 2010 campaign by snapping No. 13 USF’s 30-game home unbeaten streak (26-0-4) with a 2-1 win (Sept. 1), marking the first-ever win over a ranked opponent in the brief four-year history of the program.
In their first contest at the Richmond Classic in Richmond, Va., the Blue and Green used every last second of the double overtime match with host VCU to earn a 2-1 victory on (Sept. 4). Selected to the All-Tournament team, senior Matthew O’Shaughnessy (Trinity, Fla./Mitchell HS) scored at the 109:59 mark on a 60-yard free kick to claim victory in sudden death fashion. The last second goal was the latest goal scored in FGCU's four-year history and secured the first double-overtime win for the young program. The second contest of the tournament saw the Eagles fall to the Old Dominion (Sept. 6), 2-0, surrendering a pair of goals in the opening 10 minutes of play.
For his efforts in the two opening contests, sophomore Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS) was recognized with National Team of the Week honors from TopDrawerSoccer.com and College Soccer News. In the USF victory, Jones was the hero on the night with three points after assisting on the game’s first goal and scoring the eventual game-winner. Named to the Richmond Classic All-Tournament team, the second-year player connected on a set piece from 30 yards out to level the game a 1-1, becoming the first player in program history to net goals in back-to-back contests to open a season.
Redshirt junior Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS) has played every minute in net for the Eagles this season and has registered 11 saves through the three contests. The net-minder now has 16 victories in his career.
Under the direction of fifth year head coach Louis Bennett and picked to finish seventh in the BIG EAST Blue division, Marquette brings a 0-1-1 record into the weekend after dropping their home opener to Milwaukee (Sept. 1), 4-2, and playing to a scoreless draw against Western Illinois (Sept. 5) in their last outing.
Valparaiso (2-0-0) defeated the host UNLV Rebels by a 1-0 score at the UNLV Invitational to open the season before claiming a 2-1 overtime victory over UC Riverside to complete the 2-0 weekend. Crusader goalkeeper Ryan Schwarz tied Valpo’s career shutout record and earned Horizon League Player of the Week honors for his performance in net against UNLV. Leading a Valpo squad that was selected third in the Horizon League preseason poll, head coach Mike Avery is in his fourth season at the helm.