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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Bellarmine University men’s soccer team is set for a rematch of last season’s ASUN Tournament semifinals when the Knights travel to FGCU for a 7 p.m. (ET) contest Saturday in Fort Myers, Florida.

LAST TIME OUT

Bellarmine (5-4-1, 1-2 ASUN) collected its first conference victory of the season last Saturday with a 2-1 triumph over North Florida in double overtime.

Senior midfielder Micah Linscott scored in the 18th minute off an assist from junior forward Juan Ballas. The Knights held a 7-0 advantage in shots at the intermission and seemed unlucky not to have a multiple-goal lead after a few near-misses.

North Florida turned the tide in the second half and leveled the contest in the 84th minute, but sophomore forward Nolan McGrath converted off a pass from senior defender Nate Girao for the golden goal with roughly three minutes left in the second overtime.

“It was great to get our first ASUN win last Saturday at home,” Knights Coach Tim Chastonay said. “We had a good start to the game and were rewarded with a goal. Unfortunately, we could not capitalize on other chances to stretch the lead. UNF got back in the game late, but our guys showed great resiliency in overtime. We had some really good individual efforts on the goal and a nice finish by Nolan McGrath.”

ABOUT FGCU

FGCU (1-6-1, 1-2) has struggled to produce positive results thus far, but the Eagles were picked to finish second in the ASUN preseason coaches’ poll, which points to their potential.

O’Vonte Mullings is one of the conference’s most dangerous offensive threats and has accounted for five of FGCU’s eight goals. Ethan Dudley is the reigning ASUN Defensive Player of the Year and Gustavo Vasconcelos is the reigning, and a two-time, ASUN Goalkeeper of the Year.

Mullings, Vasconcelos and Dudley were each named ASUN Preseason All-Conference for FGCU, which opened league play with a 2-0 win over Jacksonville before falling 2-1 to both Liberty and Central Arkansas, the latter in overtime. The Eagles defeated Bellarmine 2-1 in the ASUN Tournament semifinals last season.

“FGCU looks very good again this season,” Chastonay said. “They are a veteran team with many of the players back from last season. Their record is not a reflection of the talent and potential this team possesses. They play an extremely hard nonconference schedule, and it looks like they have been a bit unlucky in the two losses in conference. FGCU has some really talented attacking players and are tough to slow down. Defensively they look good and in goal they are solid. Overall, they play a good style of soccer.” 

BIT OF A BREATHER

Between ASUN weekend games the previous two weeks, Bellarmine had nonconference outings at IUPUI and then Belmont.

Starting with FGCU, the Knights’ next three games will all have been a week apart, meaning they’ll take a break from non-league contests until an Oct. 26 matchup at Kentucky. Chastonay said the extra time between outings is coming at a good point in the season.

“Scheduling is very hard at this level with Saturday league games,” he noted. “You want to give the group a full schedule but that means playing midweek games. Those can sometimes hurt your performance on the weekend. It’s good to have a few weeks where we are just preparing for one game on the weekend.” 

For more coverage of Bellarmine athletics, follow us on Twitter (@BUKnights), Instagram (BUKnights) and Facebook (BUKnights).

 

 

 

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