JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s soccer team (5-2-1) improved their win streak to five straight after defeating The Citadel (3-4-0) 2-1 in the opening game of the UNF Hampton Inn Ponte Vedra Showcase at Hodges Stadium on Friday afternoon.
“Everything came together this afternoon,” said head coach Jim Blankenship.”We played great defense, and capitalized on some great opportunities. This was another good win for the program, and Sunday’s game will be another great test for our young squad.”
The Citadel opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Nikki Mares send a great ball to Nikkita Persaud, Stephanie Powers came up the top of the box but Persaud was able to pop it over Powers outstretched arms to put the Bulldogs up 1-0.
The momentum quickly changed sides after the Eagles added two goals in a matter of minutes. The First Eagle goal came in the 31st minute as Katie Donnellan (Lake Mary, Fla.) served Jessica Swartzebtruber (Sarasota, Fla.) from the right wing, Swartzentruber’s shot from inside the top of the box found the net to even the score at one.
The Eagles then took the lead just under two minutes after the first goal. Stacey Payne (Coral Springs, Fla.) took a shot from 35-yards out that found the back of the net to put the Eagles up 2-1.
That lead would stand as the Eagles defense held the Bulldogs to just one second half shot that came in the 60th minute but sophomore goalkeeper Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla.) was there for the save.
The Eagles outshot the Bulldogs, 9-1 in the second half, and 16-7 in the match. Powers ended the game with three saves and improved her record to 4-2-1 on the season.
The Eagles will face Mississippi State on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. to close out the tournament.