Tindell scores twice and leads Eagles past Arizona
The dreaded sophomore slump proved to be no threat to Florida Gulf Coast University women’s soccer forward Tabby Tindell. She rounded up FGCU’s only goals in a 2-1 win over Arizona on Sunday. It was announced Monday that Tindell was selected as Atlantic Sun Player of the Week.
The sophomore slump comes after a standout freshman has an impressive first season, followed by a disappointing sophomore year that doesn’t live up to expectations. After having one of the program’s best individual seasons last year, Tindell’s performance in the team’s season home opener proved the Ocala native would be immune to the second-year curse.
“I’ve been focusing on picking up where I left off,” Tindell said. “I didn’t want to have this amazing freshman year and just drop off the face of the Earth. I wanted to make myself known, and I know my name will be out there now. It’s been a big goal of mine to continue helping the team as best as I can.”
Last season, Tindell shattered seven of the program’s single-season records, such as total points (34), goals (15), goals per game (.75), shots on goal (44) and shots on goal per game (2.20). Tindell was named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year as well as being selected to both A-Sun First Team and All-Freshman First Team.
“There’s always a concern about freshmen that had such unbelievable first years, and if they’ll just be satisfied with that. I like what I saw today,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “Tabby picked up right where she left off. She was phenomenal and a standout throughout the match.”
Tindell, who was selected as the A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year, scored the Eagles’ first goal in the game and first of the season halfway through the 18th minute, to give FGCU a 1-0 lead at the start of the second half.
Just minutes after the second half, Arizona’s Charlotte Brascila answered the one-point lead after beating a defender in the box to score.
With the clock winding down in a tied game, Tindell did it again. In the 72nd minute, FGCU’s Shannen Wacker passed to an open Tindell to score and ultimately lead FGCU to a 2-1 victory.
“It was everything you want to start a season,” Blankenship said. “(We had) a good opponent who had won their (previous) game, a team that is very well respected and very well coached. So for our team to come out and get this result is fantastic. It’s a great result against a very good team.”
After having to cancel the team’s original home opener set for Aug. 22 against UCF due to weather, Blankenship hopes to reschedule the match between the two although finding a break in both school’s schedule may be difficult.
The Eagles will spend their next games on the road. First, the team will visit Coral Gables to face the University of Miami at 7 p.m. Friday The Eagles then travel to Tampa to play the University of South Florida at 6 p.m. Sunday.