Men’s Soccer Comes up Short in 2-1 OT Loss to No. 25 FGCU
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Mercer men's soccer team could not hold onto an early lead and eventually fell to No. 25 Florida Gulf Coast in overtime, 2-1, on Friday evening at FGCU Soccer Complex.
Mercer (5-5-1, 1-2-0 A-Sun) out-shot FGCU (5-3-2, 2-0-0 A-Sun) 15-12, but allowed two-straight goals after going ahead early to come out on the wrong end of yet another heated conference game that featured 28 combined fouls and five yellow cards.
FGCU had the first scoring chance of the contest, in the 19th minute, when senior Cristian Raudales fired a shot on goal that freshman Greg Ranjitsingh made a diving save on to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
The Eagles had another scoring opportunity in the 30th minute when senior Francesco DiStefano headed a cross off the left post and hit a follow up attempt that Ranjitsingh turned away to keep the game scoreless.
The momentum of the game took a huge swing towards Mercer in the 37th minute when senior Kevin Ante took his second yellow card of the match, forcing FCCU to play with 10 men the rest of the way.
The Bears immediately took advantage on the next free kick, when junior Joey Heavner sent in a ball that got flicked on to junior Josh Shutter who put it in the back of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The goal for Shutter was his third tally of the season.
Mercer picked up right where it left off starting the second half when Heavner sent in another ball that sophomore Ryan King collected and blasted just over the bar.
FGCU found a way to generate an equalizer, with just 10 men, in the 56th minute when junior Deion Jones whipped in a ball that Raudales headed past Ranjitsingh to tie the game at 1-1.
The Bears tried to jump back in front in the 77th minute when junior Richie Edmondson sent in a low shot that was cleared off the line by a FGCU defender to keep the game tied at 1-1.
That is the way things stayed until the Eagles pulled off a game winning goal three minutes into the first overtime period. Raudales headed home a crossing pass from junior William Morse past Ranjitsingh to give the home team a 2-1 win.
King paced the Orange and Black offensively with six shots while Ranjitsingh made three saves in a losing effort.
Mercer continues its trip through the Sunshine State when it travels up to DeLand to take on Stetson on Sunday night. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Stetson Soccer Complex.