The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s soccer team opened its season Sunday Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. against the Arizona Wildcats with a win, 2-1. The Eagles will go on the road first to play the University of Miami Friday Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. Then the team will travel to Tampa to face the University of South Florida Sunday Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.
Atlantic Sun preseason player of the year, Tabby Tindell, added the first point to the board during the 19th Arizona keeper Gabby Kaufman.
The Eagles held onto the 1-0 score through the first half. During the 50th Wildcat Charlotte Brascia was able to get around FGCU’s defender, fielding a pass in the box and putting one behind Eagles’ keeper Brittany Brown. Fans remained at the edge of their seats waiting while the clock ticked down and the tie remained.
During the 72nd Tindell carried the ball 30 yards and inside the box to score the game-winning goal.
“It was a phenomenal result. It was everything you want to start a season,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “We had a good opponent who won their game, a team that’s very well respected and coached. So for us to come out and get the result was just a fantastic way to start the season. There were pieces in the game that will be great coaching points.
“I’m so proud of our guys for withstanding the pressure to start the second half,” Blankenship continued. “We showed that we have the potential to be very good. Hats off to our kids in the way they battled, and the way they played. Their keeper made some really great saves. Brownie (Brittany Brown) made some key saves to keep us in it. I wasn’t as pleased with the first 15 minutes of the second half. But I thought once we got our foot on the ball a little bit more, we had a great chance to score the game winner.”