FORT MYERS, Fla. – Currently tied for first in the A-Sun standings, the No. 24 FGCU men’s soccer team looks to stay unbeaten in conference play as it closes out the road portion of the schedule. The Blue and Green travel to Buies Creek, N.C. to face Campbell on Thursday, Oct. 14 and then to Macon, Ga. to take on Mercer on Saturday, Oct. 16, with a 7 p.m. kick-off in each contest.
Sitting atop the conference standings at 8-2-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the A-Sun alongside Stetson, the Eagles are currently riding a program-best six-game winning streak. The Blue and Green’s eight wins equals their season total from all of 2009 and their current home unbeaten streak sits at nine games (8-0-1).
It was another busy week for the Eagles as they earned the 21st spot in the NCAA’s first RPI rankings of the season and the 24th spot in Soccer America’s weekly national poll. FGCU’s ranking is a one-spot improvement over last week’s No. 25 national ranking, which was the first in program history. In addition to the national ranking from Soccer America, FGCU earned recognition from three of the five primary collegiate soccer media outlets (NSCAA, Soccer America, College Soccer News), with 20 votes the Blue and Green were slotted 31st in the NSCAA National Top 25 and FGCU also earned votes in College Soccer News’ Top 30.
FGCU’s recent program-best three-game shutout streak has also seen the offense come alive, as the Eagles have scored nine goals over the last three contests. In their four A-Sun contests, the Blue and Green have given up just one goal while scoring 11, in 362 minutes on the pitch.
Through the first 12 contests, the Eagles have outscored their opponents, 19-8, thanks in large part to sophomore Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS), who leads the team with 11 points on four goals and three assists. For his pair of goals and one assist in the contests last weekend, the second-year player earned National Team of the Week honors from TopDrawerSoccer.com for the second time this year.
Freshman Ryan Price (Melbourne Beach, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic) has matched Jones’ goal total on the season, while junior Crisitian Raudales (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee HS) sits just one back with a total of three goals.
Fresh off his second A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week honor on the year, redshirt junior keeper Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS) has started all 12 contests and racked up every minute (1141:46) in goal this season, while sending away a total of 50 shots on goal. Holding a goals against average of 0.63, the net-minder has allowed just eight goals with a save percentage of .862 and has held five opponents scoreless on the year. Glick leads the A-Sun conference in save percentage, saves and shutouts, while sitting second in goals against average.
Slotted second, one spot ahead of the Eagles, in the A-Sun preseason voting, Campbell (4-3-4, 2-1 A-Sun) won its last outing, 3-2, over Mercer. Khalil Johnson leads the Camels with two goals, while Mitchell Cardenas has assisted four goals and scored another for a team-leading six points. Goalkeeper Ryan Amons has started every contest in net for CU and has 38 saves. Nine of the first 13 teams on Campbell’s schedule have been ranked in their respective NSCAA region at the time they faced CU. Campbell owns the best record in A-Sun regular season play since 2005 (34-6-5) and stands at 18-2-2 against the A-Sun, since the start of the 2008 campaign. The Camels won the 2005, 2008 and 2009 A-Sun regular season crowns and brought home the 2007 A-Sun tourney title.
Last year at the FGCU Soccer Complex, the Eagles ended the Camel’s 18-game conference regular season unbeaten streak with a 4-0 triumph that included two strikes from Caleib Lynch (Merritt Island, Fla./Merritt Island HS/Florida Institute of Technology), which helped the Blue and Green take over first place in the A-Sun standings. The all-time series record with Campbell sits level at 1-1-1.
Predicted fifth in the A-Sun preseason poll, Mercer has compiled a 6-3-1 (1-2 A-Sun) record despite a very challenging schedule to date. Mercer defeated then-No. 29 ranked UAB on the road on October 6, marking the first time the Bears had ever defeated a ranked team in their 40-year history. It also marked the first time that UAB, who boasts the number one ranked scoring offense in the country, was shutout this season. Senior midfielder Ian Cameron recently broke into the Mercer career top-10 in goals, assists and points, and currently leads the team with five goals and two assists on the year. Keeper Brett Petricek (5-2) has spent the majority of the time in net, recording 27 saves and nine goals against.
The Blue and Green netted two goals in a 10 minute span of the second half en route to a thrilling 2-1 win over Mercer in last season’s matchup, receiving goals from Scott Harrison (Cocoa, Fla./Merritt Island HS) and Jonathan Koshko (New Port Richey, Fla./Mitchell HS). The Eagles own a 2-1 edge in the all-time series with Mercer.
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.