Ruggles. Eyang combine to lift first-place Tropics to important 2-1 win over Florida Premier

by Brian Ackley

AUBURNDALE -- Two different Florida Tropics stars aligned perfectly Saturday night to help Florida to an important 2-1 United Premier Soccer League win Saturday night at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex.

The win kept Florida tied for first-place in the UPSL Premier Florida West Division with the St. Petersburg Aztecs, who also won Saturday night, 4-1 over Winter Haven, the Tropics next opponent.

Drew Ruggles, one of the premier players for the Major Arena Soccer League Tropics, netted his first-goal ever for Florida in the outdoor game, finding the back of the net near the end of regulation time in the first half. Ruggles, who missed most of the 2021 MASL season with a severe ankle injury, was the league's Most Valuable Defender in 2019-20 in scoring a career high 14 goals for the Eastern Conference champion Tropics.

William Eyang has emerged as a major star for the Tropics  outdoor side this spring, and was tied for the national lead in goals scored this year with 11 coming into action this weekend, despite missing the team's last two games. Eyang converted about five minutes into the second half for what proved to be the game winner.

Florida Premier, who falls to 3-4 this spring, had defeated the Tropics 3-1 in a road matchup very early in the season. 

Florida improved to 5-2-1 on the season, good for 16 points, and will be on the road next Saturday to meet Polk County rival Winter Haven United. For more details on that matchup, visit the team's social media sites later this week for ticket and streaming information.