Coming off a strong opening weekend against a pair of Atlantic-10 opponents, the men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 double OT loss to Florida Gulf Coast this past weekend in Fort Myers, Fla. Hampered by an early red card to star defender Mayowa Alli ’14, the outmanned Orange and Blue squad kept patient most of the game and were rewarded when Joe Meyer ’14 scored his first career goal in the 84th minute to send the game to overtime. Then, with less than five minutes left in the second overtime period, Florida Gulf Coast handed the Bison their first loss of the season with a goal from William Morse.
“Going into the match against FGCU, we knew that it was going to be a very tough game, and being forced to play with 10 men against their 11 did not make things any easier for us,” Meyer said. “However, I thought we responded very well to the situation by working hard, communicating and staying compact.”
Due to the controversial red card call, the Bison were forced to quickly alter their game plan and become much more defensive-minded. Even without Alli as an anchor, the Orange and Blue defense stepped up and withstood a barrage of offensive surges from the Eagles squad. Goalie Mike Lansing ’16 finished the contest with six saves as the Eagles recorded a 28-2 shot advantage.
Early in the second half, the Eagles finally broke the scoreless tie with a goal and looked to cruise to victory. Yet, with just minutes remaining on the clock, Meyer received a ball across the box from left back Jermaine Jarrett ’13 and put it away in the back of the net. Meyer’s goal came off of the Bison’s first shot of the contest.
“I took a quick touch and slotted the ball inside the near post from about 12 yards out to tie the game at 1-1,” Meyer said. “I rushed over to our bench and the whole team went crazy.”
The Orange and Blue then received a chance to steal the game a few minutes later when Brendan Burgdorf ’13 tracked down a punt from Lansing and forced the Eagles’ goalie to make a diving save. FGCU ratcheted up the offensive pressure in overtime and eventually put the game away late in the second OT period.
“Even though a loss is never a good thing, I think our team learned we can make big adjustments in games and even play a man down and still compete with very good teams,” Burgdorf said.
With three games now under their belt, the team will travel to Philadelphia to take on La Salle on tonight at 7 p.m. and then head to Loretto, Pa. on Sunday to take on St. Francis.
“Coach Nash told us that every team is faced with adversity, but it’s the way that the team responds that makes the difference between a great team and just a good team,” Meyer said. “That being said, I know that we will respond strongly next weekend against La Salle and St. Francis by earning six points.”