NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The regionally-ranked FGCU men’s soccer team swept the opening weekend of A-Sun conference play with a 2-0 defeat of Belmont on Sunday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn. Freshman Donovan Henry (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas HS) and sophomore William Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS) each scored their first collegiate goal helping the Eagles to their first 2-0 conference start.
With the sweep of the A-Sun opening weekend, the Eagles improved to 6-2-2 overall (2-0 A-Sun) on the 2010 campaign, while Belmont dropped to 3-7 (0-2 A-Sun) on the year. FGCU’s all-time record against A-Sun competition moves to 14-13-2, and 4-3-1 in the opening weekend of conference play. In the conference opener on Friday (Oct. 1), the Blue and Green defeated Lipscomb, 2-1, in overtime. The Eagles were slotted sixth in the NSCAA South Region poll and picked up a pair of votes in the top 25 heading into the weekend.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the way the team played and it was great to come away with two conference road wins this weekend,” said fourth-year head coach Bob Butehorn. “It was good to see the guys get their first collegiate goals and help us get the victory today. Now we start getting ready for the two conference games we have at home this weekend.”
Neither team could find twine in the opening 45 minutes of play, as the Blue and Green held an 8-4 advantage in shots and claimed all five first half corners. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS) recorded a pair of saves in the half, while Belmont’s Lou Manning stopped just one shot on goal.
The Eagles applied more pressure to start the second half, forcing the Belmont keeper to stop three shots in the opening five minutes of the frame. Henry got the Eagles out in front in the 58th minute, putting his first collegiate goal to the back of the net. A corner kick entry from junior Francesco DiStefano (Kissimmee, Fla./Osceola HS) setup Henry inside the box, who sent the ball near post for the 1-0 lead.
Also scoring his first collegiate goal in the contest, Morse doubled the FGCU lead in the 71st minute of play. Junior Josey Portillo (Metairie, La./Grace King HS) played the ball behind the Bruin defense, finding Morse who beat the keeper to the far side post increasing the Eagle lead to 2-0.
The final 19 minutes of the game played out scoreless as the Blue and Green went on to take the 2-0 victory. The Eagles finished with a commanding 22-6 lead in shots and a 7-2 corner kick advantage.
Deflecting just one second half shot on goal, Glick brought his save total to three in the contest, picking up the 20th victory and 11th shutout of his career. Manning wrapped up the match with seven saves.
With a goal against FIU (Sept. 24), the overtime header against Lipscomb on Friday (Oct. 1) and the assist against Belmont this afternoon, Portillo has now recorded at least one point in each of the last three contest for the Eagles.
A pair of games at the FGCU Soccer Complex are slated next for FGCU as they play host to USC Upstate on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. and ETSU on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. The Blue and Green are currently riding a seven-game home unbeaten streak (6-0-1) dating back to last season, and are 5-0-1 in their last six A-Sun home contests.
Live stats, box scores and recaps for every FGCU contest are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com. Live updates of FGCU’s games can also be followed on www.twitter.com/FGCUEagles.
Tickets for all home events can be purchased through the FGCU Ticket Office in Alico Arena either in person or by phone at (239) 590-7145. Tickets are also available at www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets.