Revenge is sweet.
The Eagles entered Saturday night’s game with a chip on their shoulders from a loss to Jacksonville last year in the A-Sun Conference championship game that came down to penalty kicks.
FGCU got its vengence.
The Eagles beat Jacksonville 2-0 solidifying their No. 1 spot in the A-Sun. With the win, FGCU claims its fifth consecutive regular season conference title and home-field advantage in the tournament.
“This was tough,” coach Jim Blankenship said. “They are a dangerous team. They’re the champions until someone knocks them off in November. That’s a huge result for us, and I’m really proud of our team.”
Sophomore forward and all-time goals leader Tabby Tindell delivered the Eagles’ first goal in the game. In the 13th minute, midfielder Ally Kasun sent Tindell what she later described as a “perfect” pass across the box that Tindell sent sailing past JU’s goalkeeper.
“Last year in the finals, it really, really hurt,” Tindell said. “[The game] was definitely close to the heart and tonight was a great redemption.”
After pounding on Jacksonville’s goal through the first 15 minutes of the second half, FGCU sophomore Paulina Speckmaier finally broke through the Dolphins’ defense in the 58th minute. Speckmaier, who lead the Eagles in shots, scored her seventh goal of the season from 20 yards out.
“This was a game where you don’t have to do a ton to motivate your kids,” Blankenship said. “They lived it, they were there, they know what happened. [A win] was important to them.”
FGCU, which is unbeaten in conference, will play Palm Beach Atlantic Wednesday night and Stetson on Friday at home before entering into the A-Sun tournament.