FORT MYERS, Fla. – This weekend was a success for the FGCU women’s soccer team, on the field and in the community. The second annual spring event started with nearly 250 girls participating in a clinic at 4:00pm, and a game at 6:00pm. The collaboration of FGCU and Miami players created an exciting learning environment.
“We appreciate Miami coming down and being involved with this great opportunity to reach out to our community and promote women’s soccer,” said FGCU head coach Jim Blankenship. “They added a great deal to the experience for each young player in attendance. I’m very proud of our kids for taking the time to reach out in the community with nightly clinics for the past two weeks; they are great role models for women’s soccer and our FGCU program.”
The game between the Eagles and Hurricanes started at 6:00pm with a crowd of over 1,100 in attendance. Miami brought the energy in the first ten minutes of the game and had the Eagles on their heels. Goalkeeper Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla.) made a couple key saves early as FGCU weathered the storm and fought their way back into the game. Brianna McCall (Fort Myers, Fla.) came close to putting the Eagles on the board 20 minutes into the game, when she was one-on-one with Miami’s keeper. Five minutes later, freshman Julia Martin (Bayport, N.Y.) gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead as she rebounded her own shot and beat the last defender to put the ball in the back of the net. The Eagles would remain strong and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
FGCU continued to bring intensity into the start of the second half, by taking some early shots. A great shot from Katie Donnellan (Lake Mary, Fla.), who received a great through ball from Brittany Burt (St. Petersburg, Fla.), down the left side of the field, almost gave the Blue and Green a 2-0 lead. The Eagles would pick up the game’s second and final goal late in the second half, as Kathleen Hunter (Safety Harbor, Fla.) hit a nice through ball, where Lindsay Haw (Palm City, Fla.) battled to flick the ball in over the keepers head.
“We started out slow but found a way to pick up the energy,” said Blankenship. “It was great to see everyone come into the game and make a difference. The girls have been working hard this spring and the results are proof of those efforts. We hope to finish out our spring season (April 10) with another victory.”