FGCU Finishes Magical Season, Falls to Florida in First-Ever NCAA Tournament Game
Saturday, November 12, 2011 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)
Ron Irby
Ron Irby
Florida Gulf Coast (14-5-2 (7-1-1 A-Sun))
Florida (17-7 (7-4 SEC))
11/12/2011 | Gainesville, FL | Attendance: 1025
Florida Gulf Coast000
UF15:53Tahnai Annis (Erika Tymrak )
UF67:42Tahnai Annis (Annie Speese )
UF79:54Lindsay Thompson (Tahnai Annis , Annie Speese)
FGCUPOWERS, Stephanie90:0033
UFTaylor Burke90:0001
Stats at a GlanceFGCUUF
Shots (on Goal)3 (1)12 (6)
Corner Kicks07
Yellow Cards11

GAINESVILLE, Fla. –The FGCU women's soccer team battled to the very end but fell short to the Florida Gators, 3-0, in the first-round of the NCAA tournament at James G. Pressly Stadium on Saturday night.

The Eagles finish the season with a 14-5-2 record and brought home their first-ever A-Sun tournament championship. The FGCU women’s soccer program became the first team in school history to play in an NCAA tournament game after taking on Florida Friday night.

“I am really proud of the players with the way they played tonight,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “They continued to battle throughout the game and give credit to Florida as they scored a couple of nice headers. We had a couple of chances but their defense was up to the task. The effort was there and this was a great season for us all around.”

In the 16th minute, Florida broke though off a cross from Erika Tymrak that found the head of teammate Tahnai Annis who placed it into the net. Annis earned her eighth goal of the season off the diving header.

FGCU would tighten up defensively holding Florida to just five shots in the first half. In the 24th minute, the Eagles had a shot by junior Danielle Faller (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Area HS) sail over the net high.

The Green and Blue went into halftime only trailing Florida, 1-0, and held the Gators to just two corner kicks.

The Eagles would continue to battle on defense holding Florida to one goal for almost 68 minutes before the Gators scored again. After an FGCU foul, Florida would setup a free kick as Annie Speese sent in a ball that found Annis again for the header. The goal was the second of the night for Annis and ninth of the season.

12 minutes later, Florida would make it three-for-three with its third header goal of the game as Annis sent in a ball that Lindsay Thompson put home to push the Gators lead to 3-0. Annis would finish the game with a five-point night off two goals and an assist.

FGCU had an opportunity in the 89th minute when junior Jessica Swartzentruber (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Christian HS) had a shot at the top of the box that Florida’s keeper Taylor Burke made the save.

Senior goalkeeper Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS) finished the game with three saves in her final game at FGCU. Powers finished the season with 82 saves and a 0.78 goals against average.

Seniors Kat Hunter (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic HS), KC Correllus (Merritt Island, Fla./Satellite HS/Florida State) and Ashley Ciecielczyk’s (Oregon, Ohio./Clay HS) all played solid for the backline in their final game as Eagles.

Offensive threats Olivia Elias (Coral Springs, Fla/American Heritage-Delray HS) and Gina Petracco (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) ended their senior seasons with a combined 14 goals and nine assists.