Eagles unbeaten in conference play heading into season finale
The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s soccer team traveled to Georgia over the weekend to face Mercer University on Friday, Oct. 18 and then Kennesaw State University on Oct. 20. The Eagles walked away from the road trip remaining unbeaten in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
On Friday, the Eagles fell behind Mercer in the third minute of play, when Bears’ player Washinda Blackman scored on the second shot against FGCU. The Green and Blue spent most of the first half trying to tie the match. During the 40th minute of play, freshman Tabby Tindell accomplished that goal for the Lady Eagles, and they went to half time tied 1-1 with Mercer.
The second half of the match was all FGCU. During the 63rd minute of play, Tindell scored her second goal of the night. Mercer fought to get back in the match, but Shannen Wacker added another point to the Eagles’ tally during the 76th minute. The Lady Eagles doubled Mercer in shots, putting up 18 to Mercer’s nine. The Green and Blue walked away from Mercer with a final score of 3-1, another win in the A-Sun and more motivation to head to Kennesaw State.
“We fell behind early again, and once we settled down we really controlled the game,” head coach Jim Blankenship said in a prepared statement. “I think our guys handled it very well and played a great game. We went into a tough place to play and came away with a positive result against a program that we have a lot of respect for.”
On Sunday, the match at Kennesaw State played out much differently than Friday’s. Despite the persistence of the Eagles’ offense in shots and opportunities, they weren’t able to land a single goal inside of regulation and double overtime. With credit to the Green and Blue’s defense, Kennesaw State never landed a goal in the net, either. The Lady Eagles outshot KSU 21-8, landing six shots on goal while the Owls forced FGCU keeper Brittany Brown to make only two saves.
“Conference road games are always difficult and today was a great example of that,” Eagles’ assistant coach Henry Singleton said in a prepared statement. “Kennesaw State is a strong team and it was a competitive game throughout. Now it’s time to turn our attention to what’s ahead, get a good week of training and then try to close out the regular season with a win next weekend.”
FGCU broke their regular season record of 290 shots from 2011 over the weekend, now with over 300 shots on the season. The Lady Eagles have already clinched a playoff berth, and with either the defeat or tie of the season finale against Stetson, they will host the A-Sun Tournament at the FGCU Soccer Complex as the top seed.
FGCU faces Stetson University at 5 p.m. on Saturday and do not return to the pitch again until the tournament begins on Nov. 8.