Both Albert Ruiz and Tabby Tindell from the men’s and women’s soccer team were named Most Outstanding Athlete for FGCU during the 2016-2017 year.
This is the second time Tindell has won, and she joins a list with Ruiz that includes MLB All-Star Chris Sale, Washington Nationals prospect Jake Noll, and Mets minor leaguer Ricky Knapp, who have also won this award.
Tindell, a three-time ASUN player of the year, including 2016, finished her senior season at FGCU with 66 goals, including 14 in her final year for the Eagles. With her 66 goals, she ranks number one in FGCU history in goals.
Tindell went on to go play professionally in a tryout with the Orlando Pride and scored the sixth Pride goal in a 9-0 win in their second pre-season game vs. Stetson University.
“It’s an honor to be selected for this award,” said Tindell to FGCU athletics in a recent press release. “I have to thank my family, my coaches, my teammates and the support staff. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”
Likewise, Ruiz, who is also the leader in FGCU Men’s soccer history in career goals, capped off a record-setting season with a nation-leading 22 goals and 49 points in 20 games for FGCU. Three of those goals were scored in the first nine minutes and two seconds of a game at Rutgers to break a 42-year record for fastest hat trick in a game.
“Two years ago I couldn’t even imagine getting all of the recognition I have based off last season,” said Ruiz. “I’m very grateful for my family, my teammates and all of the coaches who have helped me become who I am today. I specifically owe a lot to coach Bob (Butehorn, former FGCU head coach) and coach Joe (Dincecco, former FGCU assistant coach) who believed in me when nobody else did.”
He was a finalist for the MAC Herman trophy award as well as being national player of the week twice, ASUN player of the Year, ASUN tournament MVP, and scoring the game winning penalty kick to defeat USF in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Ruiz is entering his final year as an Eagle before he looks to move on to the professional level.