Men's Soccer Set for Florida Road Trip

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team will head to the Sunshine State this weekend, taking its talents to Florida for a pair of matches. The Red and Blue take on Florida International on Thursday, followed by a match at Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday.

Finally, the Quakers Have Come Back to Miami…
Penn will be making its first trip to Florida since the 1994 season. The Quakers split a pair of matches that trip, losing at FIU, 4-1, before rallying for a 2-0 win at Florida Atlantic. Saturday’s tilt at FGCU will be Penn’s first-ever visit to “Dunk City” for men’s soccer.

Time to Repay for 2013…
While 2013 was a season to remember for the Quakers with an Ivy League title added to the trophy case, there was a stretch in September which may not have foreshadowed such success. Losses to FIU and FGCU were the final two defeats in a six-game skid for the Quakers that September. Penn lost to Florida Gulf Coast, 3-2, in overtime at Rhodes Field before suffering a 2-0 defeat two days later to FIU.

Quakers Looking to Get in the Win Column for 2015…
Penn is 0-1-1 early in the season, with two tough tests already under its belt. Last weekend, Penn opened with a 0-0 draw against No. 7 Washington, but followed with a 4-0 defeat two days later at American. While the Eagles were not ranked at the time, they have moved up to No. 21 this week in the NSCAA Top-25.

Back Line Has Been Under Siege…
The Red and Blue have not had a plethora of sustained offensive pressure through two matches, allowing teams to outshoot them at a 39-12 clip. In terms of shots on goal, Penn is mustering one for every four an opponent takes, trailing by a 16-4 margin.

Shutdown the Shutouts…
Penn has opened the season with a pair of goalless matches for the first time since 1998 – Rudy Fuller’s first season as head coach of the Quakers. Penn’s next goal will be its first since the penultimate match of 2014 – a goalless drought of 338:03 over three-plus matches.

Scouting FIU…
The Panthers enter the weekend with a 2-2-0 record… FIU opened its season with losses to No. 5 North Carolina (1-0 on a PK) and Wake Forest (3-2) … The Panthers rallied for a 2-1 in their home opener over Fairfield, scoring twice in the final 12 minutes … Most recently, FIU defeated Stetson, 3-0 … Seven different players have scored for the Panthers … Daniel Gonzalez leads the team in shots (13) and shots on goal (6) … Defender Marvin Hezel was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Panthers keep Stetson without a shot on goal.

Scouting FGCU…
The Eagles are 0-1-1 this season… FGCU, much like Penn, opened its season with a scoreless draw at home against a Top-10 team in No. 3 Georgetown … On Saturday, the Eagles were defeated by No. 20 Wake Forest, 1-0… In between those two matches, FGCU had a lightning-delayed game against Central Florida ruled a “No-Contest”… FGCU was a head, 2-0, when a second lightning delay before the match reached 70’ caused the “No Contest” and deleted all statistics from the match… FGCU is the defending Atlantic Sun champion and coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance… FGCU has won five consecutive A-Sun regular season championships… The Eagles have three returning first-team All-Conference players in goalkeeper Nathan Ingham, midfielder Rodrigo Saravia, and defender Aaron Guillen… Ingham had nine shutouts and a 0.71 GAA last season… He has 20 career shutouts… FGCU head coach Bob Butehorn was an assistant at Penn for five seasons.

#FightOnPenn