Fort Myers, Fla. – The FGCU women’s soccer team will host Alabama State in the Embassy Suites Kick-off Classic tomorrow evening. In addition to marking the inaugural match for the soccer team, it doubles as FGCU’s first home contest as a member of Division I. Prior to the inaugural event, the FGCU athletic department will host a kick-off tailgate party.
The women’s soccer program has the honor of hosting the first Division I event at FGCU. The first year Eagles have a roster full of youth. The squad features 14 freshmen. Despite the youth, the team is extremely optimistic about the 2007 season.
“We are excited to start the season and play our first match here in front of our fans,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “I would like to thank Embassy Suites for their support of our tournament. The match should be very exciting and the team is looking forward to playing their first match.”
Alabama State has several returning starters from last season’s 2-12 squad, and also new coach Jodie Smith on the sidelines this fall. Florida International, Sunday’s opponent, finished the 2006 season with a 5-12 mark. The Panthers open with North Florida in the early match on Friday. North Florida, an Atlantic Sun rival will face Florida International on Friday and follow with a match against Alabama State on Sunday.
The FGCU athletic department along with FGCU Student Government/BEEP! and FGCU Alumni Relations will host the ‘FGCU Step Up to Division I’ tailgate. All of FGCU’s athletic teams will be recognized at halftime. FGCU coaches, the cheerleaders and Azul, the mascot will all be on hand during the tailgate beginning at 5:30.
Friday August 31, 2007
UNF vs. FIU 4:30 pm
FGCU vs. Alabama State 7:00 pm
Sunday September 2, 2007
UNF vs. Alabama State 11:00 am
FGCU vs. FIU 1:00 pm