FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast women’s soccer team has announced its schedule for the 2009 season which includes a match with UCF to open the campaign and the second annual Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic at the FGCU Soccer Complex. The Eagles will welcome seven new freshmen to join a team who returns four Eagles who earned A-Sun honors from just a year ago.
Amber McCall earned first team honors after starting in every match this past season, she finished with five goals, and two assist for 12 total points.
Lindsay Haw earned second team honors, leading the Eagles in goals (7), assists (9) and points (23) in the 2008 season. Haw finished seventh in goals, second in assists, third in points, and tied for first with four game-winners in the A-Sun.
KC Correllus earned second team, and all-freshmen team honors. Correllus is one of three FGCU freshmen to play in 17 matches in 2008. She was a major part of the Eagles back field that posted eight shutouts on the season.
Stephanie Powers earned all-freshmen team honors after finishing second in save percentage (.842), second in goals against average (.810), and seventh in shutouts (3) in the A-Sun.
The FGCU women's soccer team is one that represents a strong commitment to athletics and academics. The 2008 squad featured 15 players to the most recent A-Sun All-Academic Team.
“It is our goal as a team to strive for excellence on and off the field,” said head coach Jim Blankenship.”This is something we really believe in and it definitely pays off.”
The Eagles open up the 2009 season against four in-state foes. The schedule features a pair of matches against UCF and Miami who both reached the 2008 NCAA Tournament, along with single games against the Big East and the Sun Belt Conference to kick-off the 2009 season.
“Every year we try to put together a very competitive non-conference schedule to prepare us for conference play,” said head coach Jim Blankenship.
The Eagles open the year on Aug. 16 with a match against UCF in Orlando before hosting USF at the FGCU Soccer Complex on Aug. 19. The Eagles will then travel to Miami for the regular-season opener on Aug. 30 against FIU. FIU concluded last season after dropping a hard-fought 1-0 decision to Western Kentucky in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
The Eagles then travel to Coral Gables to face Miami who earned a berth in the 2008 NCAA Tournament before hosting the Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic (Sept. 4-13). The Eagles will host Tennessee-Martin, Army, Palm Beach Atlantic, and Austin-Peay, in the second-ever tournament hosted at the FGCU Soccer Complex. The Eagles will face off against Tennessee-Martin on day one of the classic, then play West Point on day two, Palm Beach Atlantic on day three, and conclude with Austin-Peay on day four of the classic.
After hosting the Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic, the Eagles head to Jacksonville for the UNF Tournament (Sept. 18-20). The Eagles play the Citadel to open up the UNF Tournament (Sept. 18), and then face Mississippi State Sept. 20) to conclude the tournament.
The Eagles begin conference play with two on the road, first at Mercer (Sept. 25), and then at Kennesaw State (Sept. 27). The Eagles then return home to face Campbell (Oct. 3), then hit the road again for a match at Stetson (Oct. 5) before hosting Jacksonville (Oct. 9) and North Florida (Oct. 11).
The Eagles travel to Nashville to face cross-town rivals Belmont (Oct. 16) and Lipscomb (Oct. 18). Belmont, the 2008 A-Sun Champions converted two penalty kicks to beat Mercer for the A-Sun title last season. Belmont went on to fall to Auburn 2-0 in round one of the NCAA Tournament.
The Eagles close out the regular season hosting ETSU (Oct. 23) and USC Upstate (Oct. 25). ETSU leads the all-time series 2-0, while the Eagles are 2-0 against USC Upstate.
“We are really excited about this year’s squad,” stated Blankenship. “If we continue to work hard in the offseason, we have a chance to do something special.”