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Eagles Earn Draw Against First-Place Bisons on Senior Day

Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics
Ashley Labbe runs to her teammates after scoring what would be the Eagle’s only goal against Lipscomb on Sunday October 8, 2023.

In their last home game of the regular season, the FGCU women’s soccer team earned a 1-1 draw against Lipscomb University on Senior Day.

Coming into the game, the Eagles had an overall record of 8-4-2 and a conference record of 5-1-1. That was good for second place in the ASUN, tied with Central Arkansas. The Bisons came into the game as the best team in the conference with an overall record of 11-4 and a conference record of 7-0.

Lipscomb had been, at that point, the only team to clinch a spot in the conference tournament so far. FGCU looked to join them and this game was another chance to get a little bit closer to that goal.

The Eagles haven’t lost a game since falling to Central Arkansas, 1-2, back on September 21, earning three wins and a draw in the four matches before this game. The Bisons would be a great test to see where the Eagles were at.

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Before the game, the Eagles honored and celebrated seniors Grace Paradis, Savannah Larsen and Jenna Butcofski for this year’s Senior Day.

FGCU responded to both the big matchup and the special occasion. Despite more consistent pressure and faster tempo from Lipscomb, FGCU took the lead in the 38th minute on a goal from junior midfielder Ashley Labbe, her fourth goal of the season, with assists from Maya Henley Buisan and Erika Zschuppe.

At the half, the Eagles were up 1-0 and putting pressure on the Bisons to respond or drop their first game in ASUN play this season. Even with double the shots, 10-5, for Lipscomb, they would have to answer FGCU in the second half.

Unfortunately, the Bisons did just that. Just about five minutes into the second half, Lipscomb responded with a goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the 50th minute. The pressure didn’t stop there, as the Eagles were forced to heavily focus on defending for most of the half if they didn’t want to concede another goal. 10 more shots from the Bisons kept the Eagles on their toes as FGCU was only able to get off three shots of their own.

FGCU’s defense held strong enough and freshman goalkeeper Olivia Molina saved nine of 10 shots to secure a 1-1 draw. Molina is now just four saves away from FGCU’s single-season save record of 85.

Now, the Eagles are 8-4-3 overall and 5-1-2 in conference. That’s good for third place in the ASUN, behind Lipscomb and Central Arkansas, who have both clinched spots in the conference tournament. FGCU will finish the regular season on the road with three more games, starting against Bellarmine in Louisville this Thursday. They look to be the next team to clinch a spot in the conference tournament.

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About the Contributor
James Curtis
James Curtis, Eagle News Sports Editor
James Curtis is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in global studies. He is from Tampa, FL, and has known he wanted to be a journalist since taking a journalism class in seventh grade. He has been involved in sports for his whole life, including swimming competitively all the way through high school. His goal now is to be a sports journalist. When not covering sports games or writing stories, he's usually spending his free time with his friends or watching YouTube.

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