Fort Myers, Fla., The Florida Gulf Coast University women's soccer team lost for the first time during its inaugural season, falling to St. Thomas University.
FGCU falls to 4-1 overall this season, while St. Thomas improves to 6-1.
St. Thomas got on the board first in the 38th minute of the game when Sandra Vargas scored a goal with a cross from the right side. At 8:21, Lindsay Haw (Palm City, Fla.) sent a pass from the left wing to Courtney Eppleman (Ft. Myers, Fla.) where she was wide open but was unfortunately offsides. The first period ended with St. Thomas taking a slight 1-0 edge going into halftime. FGCU outshot St. Thomas 5-2 and took the only three corner kicks of the first half.
The second half was mostly dominated by FGCU’s offense. The team had an amazing 13 shots at goal, but just could not get the ball inside. As Coach Jim Blankenship said, “We had good chances and opportunities, but their goalie also had some good saves. If we had played like we did in the second half the whole game the outcome would have been much different.” During the second half at 71:30, Jessica Belmonte (Darien, Ill.) took a shot twenty yards out that hit the crossbar but she was found offsides. St. Thomas University was able to hold off FGCU defeating them 1-0. As Courtney Eppleman stated, “We had a lot of opportunities. We just could not capitalize.”
St. Thomas’ keeper Lea Jones tallied ten saves, while FGCU’s Emily Barrett had only four saves. The Eagles outshot St. Thomas 18-5 and won the corner kick battle 5-1.
The Eagles will stay at home to face Toledo, Sunday September 16th at 1:00 pm.