FORT MYERS, Fla. (MERCER RELEASE) – A re-energized Mercer men's soccer team got a big result it desperately needed when it played to a 0-0 tie against Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday evening at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
Mercer (3-10-1, 1-2-1 A-Sun) ended up out-shooting FGCU (6-5-2, 4-0-1 A-Sun) 19-16 in the draw which moves the Bears into a tie with Northern Kentucky for fifth in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings.
The impact of Mercer playing to a tie in Fort Myers is significant because FGCU was 19-0-1 in last 20 home conference games before tonight's draw.
The first half of the contest featured a back-and-forth affair with several corner kicks and free kick services for both sides that were not converted.
Mercer's best scoring chance of the first half came in the 12th minute when senior Ryan King laid off a ball to Mark Riggins who came streaking in and fired a shot right at FGCU goalkeeper Danny George for the save to keep things knotted at 0-0.
Both teams continued to search for a goal throughout the second half with no luck, as the game remained deadlocked at 0-0 through 90 minutes of regulation.
The Bears out-shot the Eagles 13-8 in the second half and freshman Ian Antley nearly broke up the scoreless tie up in the 72nd minute when his shot on goal was deflected away by a one-handed save by George.
Mercer out-shot FGCU 3-1 in both overtime periods and recorded the only corner kick in extra time, but was unable to notch a goal and instead settled for the 0-0 tie.
Bears goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh made seven saves in the contest to record his second shutout of the season. Ranjitsingh is now up to 16 career shutouts and 227 career saves, marks that rank sixth and 22nd all-time in A-Sun Conference history.
Senior defender Joey Heavner also moved up in the A-Sun Conference record books as his start tonight was the 73rd of his career, which is tied for the ninth-most in league history.
Mercer returns to the field on October 20 when it stays in the Sunshine State to take on Stetson at 1 p.m.