19 Sep Stout Defense, Mullings’ Brace Lead Men’s Soccer Over Jacksonville
FORT MYERS, Fla. – In the ASUN opener against the defending champions and preseason favorite Jacksonville (1-4, 0-1 ASUN), the FGCU men’s soccer team (1-4-1, 1-0 ASUN) answered the call, Saturday night at Pickering Field, knocking off the Dolphins, 2-0, for its first win of the season.
Senior O’Vonte Mullings (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Northview Heights Secondary) scored both goals for the Eagles to give him five for the season and 26 for his career.
“It feels good to get the win in our first conference game,” said assistant coach Peter Thomas, who was the acting head coach tonight in Jesse Cormier‘s absence. “More important for me is our performance. I thought we played very well, I thought we had a lot of good chances, good opportunities and dominated the game. I’m proud of the guys coming together. We’ve had some adversity in the first couple of weeks of the season and this was a fantastic showing of solidarity and we showed our quality and intelligence in this game.”
Overall, FGCU outshot the Dolphins, 20-13 while each team had seven shots on goal. The Eagles also had a 7-4 advantage on corner kicks.
Graduate student Gustavo Vasconcelos (Recife, Brazil/Colegio GGE) earned the shutout by making seven saves, including a few from point-blank range.
Mullings nearly gave the Eagles the lead in the first five minutes as he received a cross in the box and had an open net, but his shot hit off the top crossbar and bounced straight down where the keeper was able to corral it.
Mullings did not miss his next opportunity as he got the Eagles on the board in the 28th minute. Senior Shandel Senior (Kingston, Jamaica/Vere Technical High School/Daytona State) sent the ball forward toward Mullings where he made one move around the goalkeeper, who was playing very high, and fired a shot into the open net.
In the second half, FGCU doubled its lead in the 59th minute. After a free kick from out wide bounced back out to graduate student Miles Robinson (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park HS/Santa Clara/Portland), he played give-and-go with junior Davi Alves (Belo Horizante, Brazil/Celso Machado HS/West Florida) before crossing the ball toward goal, where Mullings tapped it in.
The Dolphins had their best chance to get on the board late in the game as Nick Mair found himself with just Vasconcelos to beat, but the Brazilian showed why he was selected as the ASUN Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year as he made an unbelievable split-second save.
FGCU will return to action one week from tonight when they travel to Lynchburg, Virginia to take on Liberty. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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 is in 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 29-26-12 (.522) 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 143-113-58 (.551) record as a head coach in his 16-plus seasons at the helm.
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.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ 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.
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