Men’s Soccer Drops Heartbreaker, 1-0, in Overtime to FIU

Men’s Soccer Drops Heartbreaker, 1-0, in Overtime to FIU

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Philip Hildebrandt scored the game-winning goal in the 96th minute of play as FIU (2-0) took a 1-0 overtime win against the FGCU (0-1) men’s soccer team on Sunday evening on Pickering Field at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
 
The match was the season-opener for the Eagles, while the Panthers entered the contest after having beaten No. 13 UCF 4-0 on Thursday night.
 
Due to weather and lightning delays in the area, the match was delayed by nearly three hours from its original start time of 5 PM to just before 8 PM.
 
 “I thought we started slow in the first half, but picked it up as it progressed. We made a few changes and that increased the intensity and communication,” said associate head coach Sheldon Cipriani who led FGCU with head coach Jesse Cormier out for the game. “In the second half, I thought we were very good and very dangerous with territorial advantage. The red card unfortunately changed the dynamics of the game, but to the credit of our players, it unified them even more in their resolve. It was a tough game and we did some things well – most importantly, we recognize what we didn’t do well enough and so we’ll continue to focus on getting better in those areas before Thursday’s match.”
 
The Eagles were forced to play a man down following a red card issued to graduate goalkeeper Gustavo Vasconcelos (Recife, Brazil/Colegio GGE) who was sent off in the 71st minute. Vasconcelos finished the match having made 11 saves and keeping FIU off the scoreboard with career-high 11 saves. He was sent off when he charged off his line to challenge a loose ball outside the 18-yard box and collided with an FIU player.
 
Sophomore Wyatt Kistner (Midlothian, Va./Cosby HS) played the remainder of regulation in goal making an impressive leaping punch save in the 74th minute. He helped the defense keep the Panthers at bay to force the extra session.
 
In overtime, FGCU earned a set piece off a FIU foul in its offensive third, but the Panthers cleared the ensuing kick out of danger.
 
Playing compact on defense due to being a man down, the Eagles were able to keep FIU contained until Hildebrandt collected a pass deep in the Panthers offense zone near down the near flank. He lofted a crossing pass into the box that looked like it was going over the frame, but it dropped down and rang off the far post for the game-winning goal.
 
In regulation, Vasconcelos made five saves in the first half to keep things even until the intermission.
 
FGCU’s best offensive chances came in the second half when sophomore Darius Kerr-Cooper (Pickering, Ontario/St. Mary’s HS) blistered a shot towards the bottom right of the FIU goal, but keeper Grant Makela made the save in the 59th minute. Eight minute later, graduate Miles Robinson (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park HS/Santa Clara/Portland) got inside the 18-yard box with a charging right-footed strike that was blocked before he collected the rebound towards the far side to let loose a second try. Makela drove towards the far post where he made a kick save to keep the score at 0-0.
 
The Eagles again had a chance in the 86th minute as a cross from the far flank found Robinson, but his header was high of the target.
 
After turning away an FIU corner kick in the 89th minute with Wyatt punching the service clear, FGCU earned one of its own but was unable to find the go-ahead goal.
 
Overall, the Panthers held a 25-to-7 shot advantage and a 12-to-4 edge in corner kicks. The match saw eight cards with FIU having 19 fouls compared to 18 for the Eagles.
 
FGCU will remain at home to host South Florida on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7 PM. Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting www.FGCUTickets.com, calling 866-FGCU-TIX, or at the gate on game day.
 
For up-to-the-minute information and a behind-the-scenes look at the FGCU men’s soccer program, follow on Twitter @FGCU_MSoccer, Instagram @FGCU_MSoccer, Facebook /FGCUMSoccer, and YouTube /FGCUAthletics. You can also sign-up to have news on FGCU men’s soccer and all 15 sport programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.
 
HEAD COACH JESSE CORMIER
Jesse Cormier enters his fifth year as head coach of the FGCU men’s soccer program in the fall of 2021 after being hired in January of 2017 to become just the 2nd head coach in program history. Cormier has guided FGCU to a 29-23-11 (.547) record overall, including a 15-5-4 mark (.708) in ASUN play. The Eagles have reached the ASUN Tournament semifinals for nine-straight seasons (every year of eligibility), as Cormier has coached 28 all-conference selections since his arrival (program-record 10 in 2017). Cormier was the head coach at his alma mater the University of Vermont for the previous 13 seasons. He won 14 games with the Catamounts in 2016 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. During his time with Vermont, Cormier guided the program to the America East Tournament in 12 of 13 seasons, making five title game appearances, winning two tournament crowns, claiming a regular-season championship and advancing to three NCAA tournaments, including a pair of Second Round appearances. Cormier holds an overall 143-111-57 (.551) record as a head coach in his sixteen-plus seasons at the helm.

#FEEDFGCU

FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

 

ABOUT FGCU 

FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 13+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl. 

  

–FGCUATHLETICS.COM– 

 

 

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