Former Campbell Star Returns To Atlantic Sun Conference
FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU women’s soccer head coach Jim Blankenship has announced the addition of former Atlantic Sun standout Erin Switalski as an assistant coach. Switalski joins the Eagles after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
“We are really excited to have Erin at FGCU. Her background in goalkeeping will be a true benefit to our program,” said Blankenship. “She truly has the ability to improve our team in every aspect. We are looking forward to Erin making an impact on our program.”
During her time at Lynn, Switalski worked primarily with the goalkeepers while also contributing to recruiting and game management. Under the guidance Switalski, the Knights had a 1.06 goals against average (GAA) and a save percentage of .748 during her three years in which Lynn posted 27 wins.
At FGCU, Switalski will work with a pair of goalkeepers in 2010, headlined by junior Stephanie Powers, an Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team selection last season. Powers’ seven shutouts in 2009 helped lead an Eagle defense that gave up an Atlantic Sun-low 14 goals over 19 games.
“I'm very excited to be a part of the soccer family here at FGCU. I'd like to thank Jim and the athletic administration for giving me this opportunity,” said Switalski. “Jim is an excellent teacher of the game and I am very excited to be able to work with him. I look forward to continuing the strong soccer tradition of excellence at FGCU.”
Switalski came to Lynn after playing in the Danish First Division for a year and coaching two seasons at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. The Lady Govs recorded a 1.87 GAA as a team in 2007, but saw their starting keeper post a 1.30 GAA, good for fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Prior to embarking on a coaching career, Switalski starred at fellow A-Sun member Campbell University. A four-year letterwinner with the Lady Camels, she was a three-time A-Sun All-Conference first team selection and was named the 2004 A-Sun Tournament MVP after posting shutouts against Gardner-Webb and UCF. Switalski led Campbell to its first A-Sun title and initial appearance in the NCAA Women’s College Cup. She holds school records for shutouts in a career (26) and season (nine in 2003 and 2004), and career saves (329), while finishing with the second lowest goals against average for a career (1.11).
The Breckville, Ohio, native graduated with a Bachelors of Science in exercise sciences from Campbell in May 2005.
Switalski joins an FGCU club that returns 22 players from the 2009 club that finished just one point away from a share of the A-Sun regular season title. The Eagles open the 2010 season on Thursday, Aug. 12 with a 3 p.m. exhibition match at FAU. FGCU will then return home to take on the U-17 Mexican National Team on Sunday, Aug. 15 at 4 p.m. Tickets for the 4 p.m. match can be purchased through the FGCU Ticket Office in Alico Arena either in person or by phone at (239) 590-7145. Tickets are also available on www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets. Individual tickets will be $6, while group rates for 10 or more are $3.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT SWITALSKI
"Erin was one of the most intense, hard working and talented players I've ever coached. She was truly a team leader and a primary reason for Campbell University making it’s first-ever trip to the NCAA College Cup. She has a bright future as young, up-and-coming coach." – Patrick Ferguson, current Wright State Head Coach and former Campbell Head Coach
“Erin is an excellent coach and has a great eye for talent as a recruiter. She did a great job in my time with her and I’m sure she’s going to do very well at FGCU working with coach Blankenship.” - Rocky Orezzoli, former Lynn University Head Coach
“Erin put her heart and soul into everything that she did for Lynn University. She was exactly what Lynn women’s soccer stood for both on and off the field. As a good of a coach as she was, she was even a better person. Erin is someone that every student-athlete respected and could look up to. I wish Erin and FGCU women’s soccer all the best.” – Chip Dutchik, Lynn University Head Coach