MIAMI GARDENS, FL — As the perspective of sports enthusiasts throughout the nation begins to shift to include soccer, Florida Memorial University’s Lions is staying ahead of the trend. The University’s attention to building a powerhouse soccer team has proven impressive.
On Wednesday the University took on St. Thomas University at Bobcat Field on the campus of St. Thomas. Florida Memorial, with another demonstration of its prowess, brought St. Thomas to its knees with a 1-0 victory on St. Thomas’ home turf.
Jose Vidal Bazterrica provided an impressive spark for the Lions. He got the Lions off to a quick start with an early score on St. Thomas in the 27th minute of the contest. St. Thomas threatened to tie the game, but the Lions’ defense came up with huge saves to hold off their attacks and the Lions went into the locker room with a 1-0 advantage.
Florida Memorial dominated the rest of the game. The Lions’ defensive attack was in full force against St. Thomas. The Lions’ controlled the game with an 11-9 edge in shots and a 6-3 edge in shots on target, The Lions did not allow a goal in the second half.
Florida Memorial Men’s soccer finished 2014 with an 11-5 record, their best regular season in the program’s short history. They finished second in the Sun Conference with an 8-2 record, enabling them to claim an at-large tournament berth. The Lions will host the first rounds of the conference tournament on Saturday, November, 8 at 5:00 P.M. at Vicaya Park in Miramar, Florida. The Lions, coached by Fernando Valenzuela, is in his 6th season and is the only coach in the program’s history.
Here is a list of this year’s major achievements:
• Beat the #1 team in the nation.
• Lions ranked # 30 in the nation.
• A school-record five-game winning streak.
• School records for wins 11-5.
• Two victories over teams which appeared in the top 25 (#22 Bethel, #1 Thomas).
• School record for wins home and away (8-5 away, 3-0 home).
• Fourth Sun Conference Tournament berth.
• Best finish in Conference play in school history (2nd Place).
- Henrique Rezek named Sun Conference offensive player of the week.
- 15 Men’s soccer players named to The Sun Conference Fall Academic All-Conference teams.
• 5 Men’s soccer players named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes All-American