FORT MYERS, Fla. – The three-time defending Atlantic Sun champion FGCU men’s soccer team will make a program-record three national TV appearances across three different outlets this year when it takes on USF, Washington and Princeton.
All three matches will take place on the road, beginning with an 8 p.m. primetime matchup in Tampa against USF on Friday, Aug. 30, on NSCAATV.com. From there, the Eagles will face Washington on Friday, Sept. 20, in a match on the Pac-12 Network at 10 p.m. Eastern. FGCU’s final non-conference game will also be the final national TV appearance when it travels to New Jersey to take on Princeton Sunday, Sept. 29, for a 4 p.m. tilt on ESPNU.
“Three TV appearances is a great way for us to showcase our program and University at a national level,” reigning NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year Bob Butehorn said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to play in front of a national audience in three different areas of the country, and all three matches are against formidable opponents who will demand our best play.”
The season-opening meeting between FGCU and USF isn’t the first between the two strong South Florida programs, as the Eagles snapped the Bulls’ 30-game home unbeaten streak (26-0-4) to start the 2010 campaign. USF was FGCU’s last opponent of the 2012 season, knocking the Green and Blue out of the NCAA Tournament with a 5-3 edge in penalty kicks after the two teams battled to a scoreless tie after 110 minutes.
The contest against Washington will be FGCU’s first game of a weekend tournament hosted by Seattle University. The Huskies finished with a 13-5-3 overall record in 2012, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ended with a No. 24 ranking in the NSCAA poll. Washington and FGCU met out west in 2011 at the Nike Portland Invitational, battling to a 1-1 tie in which the Eagles entered with a No. 22 national ranking.
FGCU’s visit to Princeton the following week will represent the first-ever meeting between the Eagles and the Ivy League school. The Tigers, who will face seven NCAA Tournament teams this year, finished last season with an 8-6-2 record, including a 4-1-2 showing in league games.
FGCU – which has made two straight NCAA Tournament appearances – received seven of the nine first-place votes en route to being tabbed as the preseason A-Sun favorite for the upcoming year. Three Eagles –Aaron Guillen (El Paso, Texas/Coronado HS), Rodrigo Saravia (Guatemala City, Guatemala/College Internacional Montessori) and Felipe DeSousa (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) – were voted to the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference Team. FGCU returns 15 letterwinners from last year, and opens the home portion of its schedule on Saturday, Sept. 7, opposite FIU at 7 p.m.
Season tickets can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena Ticket Office, by phone at 239-590-7145 or online at FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. The Ticket Office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to the ticketed event. An adult season ticket is $30, while a youth (3-12 years) ticket is $15. Single-game tickets can also be bought at $6 for adults and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can get in for $3 a person. FGCU students and faculty/staff get in free with their Eagle ID.