FORT MYERS, Fla. – Kathleen Hunter broke a scoreless tie with less than a minute left as the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s soccer team knocked off Tennessee Martin by a score 1-0 in thrilling fashion at the FGCU Soccer Complex on Friday night. The win marks the Eagles’ first in the 2009 campaign as they improve their record to 1-2-1. The Skyhawks fall to 1-2 on the season.
“It feels really great to get that first win under our belt,” said Head Coach Jim Blankenship.”We played really well, got some really good looks and finally capitalized. UT Martin was a well rounded team and it was an overall good match for both teams.”
The Eagles controlled the tempo for most of the contest as they had numerous opportunities to score, while out shooting the Skyhawks by a 12-5 margin. Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla.) got the win in goal for the Eagles, stopping all three shots she faced.
The first scoring opportunity for either squad came with about ten minutes remaining in the first half. Olivia Elias (Coral Springs, Fla.) received the ball at the top of the box off of a corner kick with a good look at the goal, however, Skyhawks’ keeper Aubrey Buehler made an impressive save to keep the Eagles off the board.
Just minutes into the 2nd half, Katie Donnellan (Lake Mary, Fla.) sent a shot from 30-yards out that hit the cross bar that just missed giving the Eagles the lead.
Senior Amber McCall (Ft. Myers, Fla.) was the offensive spark plug for the Eagles as she recorded four shots, including three on goal. McCall had numerous chances to put FGCU out in front late in the second half. With under ten minutes remaining, McCall split a couple of defenders to get an open look at the top of the box, but she sailed her shot high over the cross bar.
With about a minute remaining in regulation, McCall was in the middle of another scoring chance as she split a couple of defenders to get an open look at the net. UT Martin’s goalie dove to her left to stop McCall’s shot. After scramble 10-yards out, the ball bounced toward sophomore defender Kathleen Hunter (Safety Harbor, Fla.) who had an open look and buried her shot just inside the right post with less than a minute left to give the Eagles the win.
The Eagles will be back in action on Sunday afternoon as the Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic continues at the FGCU Soccer Complex. FGCU will take on Army at 1:30 p.m. which precedes the Stetson and UT Martin matchup at 11 a.m.