Men’s soccer’s season comes to an end with loss in ASUN tournament

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of North Florida (UNF) men’s soccer team faced defeat for the final time in the 2022 season on Saturday, falling 4-0 to the Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) Eagles in the opening round of the ASUN Championship.

The match took place at Lipscomb University, as the fourth-seeded Eagles squared off against the fifth-seeded Ospreys. The teams had previously met on Oct. 7, resulting in a scoreless tie in which UNF goalkeeper Micah Gun stole the show.

FGCU entered with a significantly better record, but the Ospreys rode a wave of momentum into Saturday following two big wins over Liberty University and arch rival Jacksonville University in their final games of the regular season.

Players huddle together on field
Despite the tough loss, the Ospreys will look to learn from this season going into the future. (Justin Nedrow)

This momentum came to a screeching halt when, in the 29th minute, FGCU midfielder Markus Maurer scored on a screamer that was the result of a stopped free kick. Taking into account the low-scoring nature of their last meeting, the Eagles celebrated knowing this might be all it would take to seal the win.

They were right, but weren’t done making sure. UNF held on for the remainder of the first half, entering the breakdown just 1-0. This carried over into the early portions of the second half, up until the 69th minute, when things began to get ugly. 

A beautiful sequence was capped off by the Eagles with an Aedon Kyra header to stretch the lead to 2-0. Just four minutes later, midfielder Davi Alves curled a free kick into the corner of the net, ballooning the advantage to 3-0.

As if things couldn’t get much worse, UNF defender Alex Barnett was sent off with a red card in the 78th minute. The Ospreys were now left staring down a three-goal deficit with one less player than their opponent on the field. 

What came next was predictable, with the Eagles striking once more on a tap-in from forward Luke Peperak with less than three minutes remaining. The match ended in a 4-0 victory for FGCU, propelling them to the semifinals to face Lipscomb.

Soccer ball sits on the field
This marks the third consecutive season that UNF has finished with four wins. (David Heitz)

Meanwhile for the Ospreys, this loss brought their 2022 campaign to a close. Their 4-8-4 record is a bit misleading in the talent that the team possessed, with missed opportunities coming back to bite them on multiple occasions. 

While this was a disappointing way to cap off the year, UNF head coach Derek Marinatos appreciates the effort his players put in despite facing adversity.

“I am proud of this team for this season’s turnaround and our run at the end of the season,” Marinatos said.

A tough pill to swallow nonetheless, the Ospreys will take this experience into next season as they look to make the jump into the upper echelon of ASUN soccer. 


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