Florida Gulf Coast’s incredible hoops run in the NCAA tournament may have ended back in March, but the Eagles’ soccer team brought plenty of madness with them Friday night at Rhodes Field.
Florida Gulf Coast (1-5-1) came out on top, 3-2, in overtime to overtake Penn (2-5) in a frenzied encounter. It was a back-and-forth contest with plenty of rough challenges from both teams.
In the opening 20 minutes, Penn looked in control of the match as the Quakers pressed the Eagles hard. But then the dynamic of the game changed when Penn senior Stephen Baker tangled with one of the FGCU defenders and was shown his second yellow card.
The Quakers played down a man for the rest of the game and the Eagles took advantage of their numerical superiority in the 32nd minute with a headed goal from junior midfielder Santiago Echeverri.
Just five minutes later, Penn leveled the game at 1-1. Freshman forward Sam Hayward found himself unmarked at the far post and slotted home his second collegiate goal.
FGCU took the lead once more seven minutes after halftime, as sophomore defender Luis Vega curled a free kick past Penn senior goalkeeper Tyler Kinn.
Junior Duke Lacroix tapped home another equalizer for the Red and Blue in the 68th minute. He was assisted by freshman Matt Poplawski, who showed great hustle to track down a loose ball and feed Lacroix.
There were a few more scares for the Quakers in the last minutes of regulation, but the defense managed to hold firm and keep the game at 2-2 to force overtime.
But in overtime it was all Florida Gulf Coast, as exhaustion began to set in for a Penn side that had spent nearly 70 minutes down a man.
In the 100th minute, FGCU sophomore Felipe DeSousa made a run into the box and slid a shot past the outstretched hands of Kinn to win it for the Eagles.
Friday’s game was just the second at the newly renovated Rhodes Field. Up next on Sunday at noon, the Quakers will play at home again versus Florida International.Comments powered by Disqus
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