FGCU Ready For A-Sun Opening Weekend
Thursday, September 22, 2011
UNF (4-6-1, 0-1 A-Sun)
FGCU (6-3-1, 1-0 A-Sun)
9/23/2011 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 325
FGCU15:57WACKER, Shannen (CIESIELCZYK, Ashley )
FGCU32:50PETRACCO, Gina (CLAY, Kayley )
FGCU78:06GOBLE, Amanda (CIESIELCZYK, Ashley , ARNOLD, Melissa)
UNFBENINATI, Rachel16:5510
UNFDORSEY, Megan73:0538
FGCUPOWERS, Stephanie90:0005
Stats at a GlanceUNFFGCU
Shots (on Goal)7 (5)19 (12)
Corner Kicks26
Yellow Cards10

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After finishing non-conference action with a 5-3-1 overall record, the FGCU women’s soccer team prepares to host Florida rivals UNF and Jacksonville in Atlantic Sun action at the FGCU Soccer Complex this weekend.

FGCU garnered votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Southeast Region Rankings this week. This is the third time in the program’s five-year history that the Eagles have received votes.

The Eagles, who were picked to defend their A-Sun regular season title in the preseason coaches’ poll, take on the Ospreys on Friday at 7 p.m. at the FGCU Soccer Complex. The Green and Blue then welcome Jacksonville on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Entering the program’s fifth year in the A-Sun, the Eagles are unbeaten in their last 13 conference games with an 11-0-2 record. FGCU began conference play on the road last season, picking up a 0-0 tie at Jacksonville and a 2-1 victory at North Florida. Friday marks just the second time in five years that the Green and Blue have opened A-Sun regular season play at home.

Last weekend, the Eagles earned a 0-0 draw against then-No. 15 UCF in Orlando at the UCF Soccer Complex. FGCU had a couple of opportunities to win the game, including a header chance from redshirt junior Ashley Ciesielczyk (Oregon, Ohio/Clay HS) that was cleared off the line by the UCF defense.

Freshman Melissa Arnold (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek Regional HS) paces the Eagles with eight points, including three goals and two assists. Arnold is tied for the team lead in goals with junior Jessica Swartzentruber (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Christian HS), who has scored three goals as well. Six other Eagles have scored at least one goal on the stat sheet.

Senior goalkeeper Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS) picked up her second A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week award following Sunday’s shutout against UCF last weekend. Powers finished the game with six saves and now has 47 on the season, good for second in the conference. She also earned her third shutout and 22nd of her career placing her seventh all-time in the A-Sun.

The Ospreys have a 4-5-1 record in non-conference action after falling to Richmond, 2-1, on Sunday. UNF has played three double-overtime affairs coming away with two victories. Sophomore Lauren Hopfensperger leads the team with three goals on the season. FGCU leads the series 2-1-1 after defeating UNF, 2-1, last season. UNF was predicted to finish fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll.

Jacksonville, predicted to finish second in the league, enters conference play with a 4-4-1 record and most recently lost to then-No. 15 UCF, 2-1, last Friday. Senior Liz Fink leads the Dolphins with four points off two goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Sierra leads the Dolphins in net with a conference-leading 51 saves and three shutouts. Jacksonville owns a 2-0-2 all-time advantage against FGCU. The teams battled to a double-overtime, 0-0, tie last season.

FGCU continues its conference schedule next weekend against Stetson on Oct. 1 in Deland at 7 p.m.

Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), box scores and recaps will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com. Kick-off for Friday’s game against UNF is slated for 7 p.m.