NSCAATV.com College Soccer Special: South Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast (men)
NSCAATV College Soccer Special schedule kicks off Friday, Aug. 30, in a big way at the University of South Florida.
USF will serve as the sight as the College Soccer Specials lone doubleheader of the season, as the Bulls host Clemson in women’s action at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the men’s game against Florida Gulf Coast scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET kickoff.
USF and Florida Gulf Coast University look to make an impression in their 2013 season debuts. In 2013, the Bulls have two exhibition wins under their belts, while this will be the first taste of competition for the FGCU Eagles.
This will not be the first time these teams have seen each other, as this is a rematch of last season's first round NCAA tournament game between the two sides. Last time around, defense shined for both teams and USF was only able to overcome FGCU in penalty kicks as neither team was able to score in regulation.
USF has now been to the NCAA tournament the past six years in a row and are looking to make a seventh consecutive post season appearance in 2013. Leading the way for the Bulls will be junior midfielder Wesley Charpie and senior defender Ben Sweat.
TopDrawerSoccer.com have recognized Charpie and Sweat this preseason by naming both on their list of the nation’s top 100 players. The list includes the nation’s top sophomore, junior, and senior soccer players. While Sweat was ranked at No. 27, Charpie holds the No. 87 spot respectively. Top DrawerSoccer.com recognized both Bulls again by naming Charpie one of the country’s top 25 midfielders and Sweat as a top 10 defender to watch.
Florida Gulf Coast will also be looking to make another NCAA tournament appearance. If FGCU could make another appearance in the NCAA tournament, it would mark the Eagles third consecutive appearance, after making two straight in their first two seasons of NCAA eligibility.
FGCU is back in 2013 with experience, as the team returns 15 players from last year’s championship squad and are looking to return to post season play. Defender Aaron Guillen and midfielder Rodrigo Saravia joined last year’s Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year, Felipe DeSousa, on the roster. The 2012 season saw DeSousa tally 15 points on seven goals, while leading the league in game-winning goals with five.
The three-time defending Atlantic Sun champion Eagles have been picked again to successfully defend their title in the conference coaches’ preseason poll. The Eagles sophomore class was also able to make a preseason splash. Three of head coach Bob Butehorn’s sophomores earned spots on the Atlantic Sun’s Preseason All-Conference Team.
In 2012, USF improved to 2-0 against FGCU with a 5-3 victory in penalty kicks to open the NCAA tournament. Both teams are again looking to come out on top to open their 2013 campaigns in Tampa.
NSCAATV: South Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast (men)
When: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
Location: Tampa, FL
Game time: 8:00 PM ET