Women’s soccer celebrates seniors and success
The FGCU women’s soccer team is now unbeaten in 24 consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference regular season games and 29 consecutive A-Sun regular season games at home, a streak that stands tied as the nation’s third-best after two more conference games this past week.
Four different seniors found the net Friday night as the team cruised to a 5-0 victory over USC Upstate at the FGCU Soccer Complex. With the Senior Night victory, the Eagles stand undefeated in A-Sun Conference play, 2-0-1, while the Spartans fall to 1-2 in the league.
The Eagles, with their highest shot total in eight years, had 35 attempts, with 16 shots on goal from 12 different players. Junior Tabby Tindell led the charge with 11 attempts and 2 goals.
With help from a strong backline, senior Brittany Brown recorded her seventh shutout of the season. Brown was not required to make any saves as USC Upstate took just one shot on the net.
The Eagles opened the contest with rookie Knudstrup hitting the crossbar with a header in the 10th minute. FGCU produced an 18-0 shot advantage in the first half.
Tindell and Kaitlin Parker challenged the Upstate keeper in the opening minutes of the second half with shots on goal in the 47th and 51st minutes, respectively. Upstate created its first offensive threat in the 54th minute when a lofted pass found a forward just outside the box. The Spartan player used a header to flick the ball toward the goal, but the team’s best chance went wide.
The Eagles broke open the game, starting with a goal from senior Ally Kasun in the 55th minute and back-to-back goals by Tindell in the 61st and 65th minutes. Rookie Shay Jackson added a fifth goal in the last minute of action to push the Eagle lead to 5-0.
With her seventh clean sheet of the season, Brown extended her FGCU and Atlantic Sun Conference record to 35 shutouts. Meanwhile, Tindell improves her FGCU program records to 45 goals and 109 points after earning two goals and an assist on the night. Tindell now tops the all-time leaderboard by 17 goals and 26 points.
With a league second-best seven points in A-Sun play, the Eagles wraped up the home portion of their regular season schedule with a 1 p.m. kickoff against Kennesaw State on Sunday, Oct. 11.
The Eagles outshot the Owls 18-1 but were held scoreless until the 83rd minute. Tindell led the Eagles with five shots, including three on target and the late goal. Once again, the FGCU backline was stellar, as the team limited KSU to just one shot that was off target. Brown recorded her eighth shutout of the season and was not required to make a save for the second-consecutive game.
Kennesaw State battled with the Eagles created a corner kick opportunity in the first five minutes. The FGCU backline stopped the attempt and cleared the ball to take control from there.
In the seventh minute, Meaghan Mulligan challenged the KSU keeper with a header from the left side. A cross found Mulligan near the eight-yard mark but her header was stopped.
The Eagles continued to pressure the KSU backline and added shots from Tindell, Kasun, Paulina Speckmaier, Mulligan and freshman Darien Davis before halftime but were unable to score.
FGCU outshot KSU 7-0 in the first 45 minutes and carried its offensive momentum into the second half.
The Eagles opened the second half with a shot from Kasun on the team’s opening drive, but the attempt was wide. Velez put another shot high in the 53rd minute before Rogers generated a run down the right side that forced the KSU keeper to make a diving save.
KSU’s backline held strong, rendering the Eagles scoreless through the first 82 minutes, despite 16 shots.
Junior Tindell, in the 82nd minute, held control of the ball and cut left where she put a shot away with her left foot, giving FGCU a 1-0 lead.
The Eagles earned the 1-0 win. Tindell’s goal served as the game winner, as well as her 19th career game-winning goal.
With her eighth clean sheet of the season, Brown extended her FGCU and A-Sun Conference record to 35 shutouts, while Tindell improved her FGCU program records to 46 goals and 111 points with one goal Sunday. Tindell now tops the all-time leaderboard by 18 goals and 28 points.
Following another three-goal weekend Tindell was named the A-Sun Player of the Week. Tindell earns the accolade for the A-Sun record ninth time in her career and the third time this season.
As the top two teams in the conference, the Eagles will take on the Lipscomb Bison Friday, Oct. 16, in Nashville. Lipscomb stands at 4-0 in A-Sun play after defeating UNF 2-0 Sunday afternoon. The Eagles and Bison stand as the only two unbeaten teams in the league.
The Green and Blue will then travel to Newark, N.J., for a contest against NJIT — the league’s newest member — Sunday afternoon.