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Lipscomb (4-5-1 (0-1-0 A-Sun))
Florida Gulf Coast (3-5-1 (1-0-0 A-Sun))
10/4/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 397
Friday, October 04, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Three-time defending conference champion Florida Gulf Coast needed only one goal to defeat Lipscomb 1-0 in the conference opener at the FGCU Soccer Complex on Friday night.
FGCU’s last Atlantic Sun loss happened one year ago this weekend against the Bisons, but history could not repeat itself.
Henry Penagos scored in the 26th for FGCU.
Lipscomb pressured FGCU’s defense all night, but could never capitalize.
“Overall we are pleased with our effort, but not the result,” said head coach Charles Morrow. “The result is a little disappointing given the chances and opportunities we created.”
Just past the 25-minute mark, FGCU won a corner kick. Following a failed attempt, the Green and Blue cleared the ball and after a couple of passes, Skylar Wilks put a left-footed cross into the middle of the box for Penagos.
Penagos then flicked the ball into the left side of the net for his third goal of the season. The score was the first game-winning goal of his career.
FGCU held a shot advantage for most of the first period, before Lipscomb finished the half with three unsuccessful attempts. Both teams took six shots each in the frame.
“We created a good number of opportunities,” said Morrow. “That is a source that has been lacking in past games.”
Early in the second period neither team could muster a great look.
Lipscomb found itself begging with ten minutes to play. In a one-minute span, the Purple and Gold attempted three shots.
The Bisons struck fear into the Eagles when a failed corner kick almost led to an equalizer. After collapsing into the box, a Bisons’ player put a shot on goal that was denied by the underbelly of the crossbar and bounced straight down, only to be cleared by FGCU.
“The guys have really bought into pushing the tempo and pace of the game,” said Morrow. “We played, and the game was played in a manner we wanted it to be.
“At the end of the day, we have to capitalize on our chances if we want to win games.”
For the game, Lipscomb outshot FGCU 15-9 and put four on frame.
With the win FGCU improved to 3-5-1, 1-0-0. All three wins have come in the last three matches. The win gives the Eagles a 23-2-2 conference record over the past four seasons.
The loss dropped the Bisons to 4-5-1, 0-1-0.
Lipscomb goalkeeper Micah Bledsoe was credited with three saves. Danny George had four stops and earned the second consecutive shutout for FGCU.
“There are some positives to take away from tonight,” Morrow said. “I think ultimately this is a game that the guys will look back on as the season goes on and want back.
“We don’t have time to sit around and get too upset about this one because we have to get right and get straight for the game on Sunday. It’s a huge game.”
The Bisons will travel north to DeLand, Fla., for a noon matchup with Stetson. The Hatters were stunned with a late goal from Northern Kentucky on Friday night and fell 2-1.