FGCU Falls to USA U17 National Team on a Penalty Kick
Friday, February 10, 2012

SUNRISE, Fla. – A penalty kick in the 12th minute proved to be the difference, as the USA Under-17 National Team was able to overcome a terrific defensive effort from the FGCU women’s soccer team for a 1-0 win Friday night in a friendly match to open the Eagles’ spring season.

“This was hard fought match in which chances were hard to come by,” said FGCU head coach Jim Blankenship. “It was a very competitive game and a well-played match. This was such a great experience for our program.”

The FGCU defense, which posted a single-season record 12 shutouts in the fall, was stellar all night. The Eagles limited USA to just a few chances with the only goal coming via a penalty kick. The Green and Blue’s defensive effort came five days after USA defeated Germany, 2-0, in an international friendly.

“Our backline and keepers were terrific all night,” Blankenship stated. “I thought Jennifer Crittenberger and Julia Roddar really anchored the defense which had a much different look from the fall. I’m very pleased with our overall effort and I think this is a performance we can build off of to start our spring season.”

It marked Roddar’s (Falun, Sweden/Shattuck-St.Mary’s Academy/Wisconsin) first action as an Eagle after transferring from Wisconsin to FGCU during the break, while Kansas transfer Tamarah Stewart (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS/Kansas) was also on the field for the first time in the Green and Blue. FGCU traveled a total of 20 players, including four seniors from last year’s A-Sun championship squad.

FGCU will continue its spring season on Sunday, Feb. 19 when it hosts FIU at the FGCU Soccer Complex. Kick-off is slated for 1 p.m.

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.