JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 16, 2014) - After falling behind early on, ETSU scored two unanswered goals to earn a 2-1 non-conference victory over FIU Tuesday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
First-year head coach Bo Oshoniyi and the Buccaneers (3-2) were welcoming FIU to Johnson City for the first time ever, with the Panthers being coached by former ETSU headman Scott Calabrese.
Calabrese served as head coach at ETSU from 2008-13, helping the Bucs earn two NCAA Tournament berths.
"The boys were excited about this match," Oshoniyi said. "Scott built this place, and he built this program up to what it is today, and I think they all have great gratitude for him for that. At the end of the day, the boys knew that they had an opportunity to really take a good shot at these guys. FIU is a good team that will win a lot of games, and the boys really showed up tonight and did well."
FIU jumped out to a quick, 1-0 lead on a fourth-minute goal by Quentin Albrecht; however ETSU's Joao Ramalho (Monte Santo, Brazil) scored an equalizer on a free kick in the 23rd minute.
Following an FIU handball at the top of the box, Ramalho made the Panthers (1-3-1) pay, converting the free kick to knotch his fifth goal of the season. The Monte Santo, Brazil, native has scored in three of ETSU's five games this season.
The ETSU defense held FIU scoreless for the final 86 minutes of the match, putting the Bucs in position to get the victory.
Redshirt freshman Cory Sauerwine (Oldsmar, Fla.) scored the eventual game-winner for the Buccaneers in the 83rd minute off assists by William Nordenstrom (Linkoping, Sweden) and Ramalho.
Ramalho manuevered through the FIU defense before crossing a ball from the right corner that deflected off Nordenstrom before being put away by Sauerwine.
The goal was Sauerwine's first of his career.
"I think coming off two losses in a row, we kind of needed to get back on the horse," Oshoniyi said. "The first half was probably some of the best soccer we've played all year. I was excited for the boys. I challeneged them, saying, 'You can feel sorry for yourselves, or you can come out and take advantage of the opporunity, and they did that. They grabbed it."
ETSU will conclude its swing of three consecutive Conference USA opponents when it hosts South Carolina Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m.
"Now, we have a strong, strong South Carolina team coming in here Saturday," Oshoniyi said. "I think the boys realize now that it takes hard work, and that you can't relax and become complacent. I think they are excited about the challenge to play another Conference USA team. We're looking forward to it, and looking forward to getting South Carolina in here."
VIDEO: Highlights of the win, including a postgame interview with Coach Oshoniyi.
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