Eagles clinch playoffs after double-overtime win over UNF
By Bryce Thompson
The Eagles outlasted ASUN rivals UNF in a nail-biting double-overtime game Thursday night. FGCU’s 1-0 victory extended their winning streak to nine games, as well as clinched a spot in the conference playoffs for the ninth year in a row.
A game that could have lasted all through the night set the tone early, with both teams struggling to create chances and get any kind of rhythm offensively.
Neither team showed any signs of breaking through in the first half with FGCU heading into a scoreless half with a slight edge in shots 3-2.
UNF looked to open up the scoring in the second half with an attack which resulted in a free-kick. FGCU’s senior keeper Melissa Weck made a lunging save after a bending shot at the right post to keep the game scoreless.
The remainder of the second half played out similarly to the first and neither squad could break-through as the game headed to golden goal overtime.
Overtime was a back-and-forth effort from both teams, but with only two minutes left UNF created a chance inside the box with an open shot at ending the game with a golden goal. Weck once again kept the Eagles alive with a diving save forcing a second overtime.
FGCU seemed to be getting closer and closer to creating a game-winning chance, and with less than seven minutes left, it happened. A beautiful cross from the left-wing by Kara Kyramarios connected with an Evdokia Popadinova for the game-clinching score on a header.
The first-place Eagles look to ride their winning streak in an important road test this Sunday, Oct. 20 against second-place Liberty.