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Women's Soccer Faces USA U17 National Team to Open Spring Season
Thursday, February 09, 2012 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU women’s soccer team will open its spring schedule with an exhibition match against the USA Under-17 National Team on Friday, February 10 at 3 p.m. in Sunrise, Fla. The Eagles will be traveling 20 players, including four seniors from last year’s A-Sun championship squad.

The exhibition game will be played on a field located next to the Holiday Inn Sunrise Hotel. The USA U17 women’s national team defeated Germany in an international friendly, 2-0, on Feb. 6 in Sunrise, Fla.

“This is a great opportunity for our team to play against the national team,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “With them training in Florida for the 2012 FIFA World Cup, we felt like this would be a great experience for our team heading into the spring season. We are looking forward to the spring season and building upon our team from last year.”

The contest will mark the first time mid-year transfers Julia Roddar (Falun, Sweden/Shattuck-St.Mary’s Academy/Wisconsin) and Tamarah Stewart (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS/Kansas) will suit up for the Green and Blue.

The U.S. U17 Women’s National Team will play its ninth full season of competition this year as first-year head coach Albertin Montoya takes over the program. Hired in August of 2011, Montoya will work under the guidance of U.S. Soccer Director of Development Jill Ellis to oversee the program with the goal of taking the team through qualifying for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in Azerbaijan from Sept. 22 through Oct 13. Players eligible for that World Championship must be born on or after January 1, 1995.

FGCU women’s soccer team ended the 2011 campaign with a program-best 14-5-2 overall record and an impressive 7-1-1 A-Sun mark, claiming back-to-back A-Sun regular season titles and earning their first-ever A-Sun tournament championship. FGCU won the championship off a dramatic goal in double-overtime sending the Eagles into the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history. Setting a new school record for shutouts with 12 on the season, the Green and Blue also landed five All-Conference first team selections and a pair of second team and All-Freshmen picks.