FGCU looks to stay in top spot in the conference
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After picking up a pair of wins against Atlantic Sun foes Mercer and Kennesaw State, the FGCU women’s soccer team heads to ETSU and USC Upstate to continue league play this weekend. The showdown against the Buccaneers in Johnson City, Tenn. kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, while Sunday’s match versus the Spartans is slated for noon in Spartanburg, S.C.
The Eagles hold a 7-4-1 record on the season and sit in a tie for first place with Jacksonville at 4-0-1 in the A-Sun for 13 points. FGCU is currently on an eight-game conference unbeaten streak (7-0-1) dating back to last year. During the stretch, the Blue and Green have outscored their opponents, 21-2.
The Blue and Green garnered votes in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com Southeast Region Rankings. FGCU was also picked as the 62nd team in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Tournament 64 rankings. The Tournament 64 rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth. For the fourth and final year, FGCU is not eligible for postseason play due to the four-year NCAA provisional period.
Led by game-winning goals from senior Lindsay Haw (Palm City, Fla./Martin County HS), FGCU swept the aforementioned teams, 1-0, on Friday and Sunday at the FGCU Soccer Complex. The last time the forward had back-to-back goals in conference play was in 2008 against Campbell (Oct. 2) and UNF (Oct. 10). She now has 22 career goals and needs two more to top the program record book.
Haw now leads the team with three goals and an assist, while freshman Jenci Villaverde (Palm City, Fla./Bayside HS) and sophomore Jessica Swartzentruber (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Christian) each have two goals apiece. In total, 13 players have tallied a goal this season making FGCU one of only three schools (Baylor and TCU) in the country to have 13 or more players score at least one goal.
The FGCU backline has posted a shutout in four of the last five games, including three straight. Along with their unblemished conference record, the Eagles haven’t allowed a goal in the last 281 minutes of play. Leading the defense, junior Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS) continues to top the A-Sun with a 0.67 goals against average and six shutouts. Powers leads a defensive unit that’s looking to put together its fourth straight shutout, a feat they accomplished in 2008 and 2009.
ETSU (6-5-1, 2-3 A-Sun) is currently on a three-game skid, coming off a 0-2 weekend against River City Rivals, UNF (L, 2-0) and Jacksonville (L, 3-0). Freshman Ramey Kerns leads the Bucs with 11 points (5g, 1a), while senior Terri Miller is close behind her with five goals of her own. The pair’s five goals put them in sixth place in the league statistics. The Bucs hold a 2-1 advantage in the short series history, claiming the last two meetings, 2-1, in 2008 and 1-0 in 2009.
The Spartans (3-10, 1-4 A-Sun) picked up their first conference win since the 2009 season against Lipscomb (Sept. 26) before falling to Jacksonville (L, 5-1) and UNF (L, 3-0) last weekend. Freshman keeper Rachel Collins leads the A-Sun in saves (86) and saves per match (6.45). FGCU leads the series 3-0 and downed Upstate, 10-0, in the final game of last season.
Live stats for both contests are listed at www.FGCUAthletics.com and an internet video feed will be available for the USC Upstate game on ASun.TV.