LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. ( Nov. 11, 2022) – (RV) Florida National’s Marcos Bakale came up big in the opening match of the Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) tournament against Viterbo University, with a terrific goal from beyond the 18-yard box. The sophomore continues to deliver on the pitch for the Conquistadors scoring his fourth goal this season. Viterbo came into the contest as the second seed of the tournament with a 15-1-1 record. The Conquistadors have been a mainstay in the ranking this season owning a 9-1-3 regular season record coming into Lawrenceville, Ga.
In the first half, FNU had a great look from Nicolas Martinez blocked by the Viterbo defense that set the tone for the rest of the match. The Conquistadors were aggressive early as shots from Fransisco Crimi and Bakale threatened to break the 0-0 score to no avail.
It wasn’t until a stroke of Bakale magic sent a beautiful long-distance goal straight into the upper right corner of the goal to give FNU a 1-0 lead and their eventual victory. Florida National pulled off an impressive defensive effort despite playing with 10 men after Metheus Teixeira was shown a red card 33-minutes into the match.
The Conquistadors had nine shots in the first half but only got off four the in second as Viterbo still struggled to capitalize on either end of the pitch. Veteran goalkeeper Victor Ruiz only faced two shots on goal for the entire match and recorded two saves. The final minutes of the contest were physical as Viterbo collected five fouls in the last 13 minutes of play.
FNU had 11 shots and two corner kicks in the match to Viterbo’s five shots and nine corners
Up Next: FNU now prepares to take on Bellevue for the CAC Championship title. The match is set to begin tomorrow at 4 p.m.