FGCU Rides Hot Streak into Critical A-Sun Road Weekend
Thursday, October 20, 2011 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)
FGCU (12-3-2 (7-0-1))
Lipscomb (4-12-1 (2-6-0))
10/21/2011 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 223
FGCU62:50ELIAS, Olivia (PETRACCO, Gina , FALLER, Danielle)
FGCUPOWERS, Stephanie90:0000
LIPZERIO, Erin90:0015
Stats at a GlanceFGCULIP
Shots (on Goal)10 (6)1 (0)
Corner Kicks90

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After two significant wins last weekend against USC Upstate and ETSU, the FGCU women’s soccer team controls its own destiny as they take on Lipscomb and Belmont in the Atlantic Sun regular season finale this weekend. The showdown against the Bisons kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, while Sunday’s match versus the Bruins is slated for 1 p.m. with both games in Nashville, Tenn.

FGCU (11-3-2, 6-0-1) can clinch its second straight A-Sun regular season championship with two road victories this weekend. The Eagles are riding a 20-game conference unbeaten streak with a 17-0-3 record dating back to October 2009. Only UCF’s streak of 24 straight (1996-2000) is longer in the history of the A-Sun.

The Green and Blue received national recognition again this week coming in at No. 61 in the RPI rankings ahead of the likes of UConn, Washington, Alabama, Nebraska, Michigan and St. John’s. The Eagles are one of 12 teams with six or more road wins and have the 20th best RPI amongst non-BCS teams. They were also named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Tournament 64 rankings appearing at No. 55. The Tournament 64 rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth. FGCU is eligible for postseason play for the first time this season.

In the two victories last weekend against USC Upstate (9-0) and ETSU (3-0) the Eagles combined for 12 goals, 18 assists and a 48-6 shot advantage to remain unbeaten in A-Sun play. Seniors Olivia Elias (Coral Springs, Fla./American Heritage-Delray HS) and Gina Petracco (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) provided the offense finishing the weekend with three goals apiece and a combined five assists.

Redshirt junior defender Ashley Ciesielczyk (Oregon, Ohio/Clay HS) continues to lead the A-Sun in assists with 12 and is second in the nation. Ciesielczyk also had a strong weekend with a goal and four assists.

The FGCU backline has posted a shutout in eight straight games. Along with their unbeaten conference record, the Eagles haven’t allowed a goal in the last 782 minutes of play. Leading the defense, senior keeper Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS) leads the conference in goals against average (0.72), shutouts (10) and save percentage (.854). Powers has 29 career shutouts, which is tied for first all-time in the conference with Stetson’s April Eilering (2003-06).

Lipscomb (4-11-1, 2-5 A-Sun) is currently on a two-game slide, coming off a 0-2 weekend against River City rivals, Jacksonville (L, 2-0) and North Florida (L, 4-0). The Bisons are led by Meghan McGuire who leads the team in points (10) and goals (5). The Eagles lead the all-time series against the Bisons with a 3-0-1 record, including a 4-1 victory last season in Fort Myers.

The Bruins (6-7-1, 3-3-1 A-Sun) played to a scoreless draw with UNF, before falling to Jacksonville, 3-1, last weekend. Belmont welcomes Stetson on Friday night before they do battle with the Eagles on Sunday at 1 p.m. Belmont is led by Gretchen Smith, who leads the team with nine points on three goals and three assists. FGCU leads the all-time series with a 3-1 record after defeating Belmont 2-0 last year in Fort Myers.

Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), box scores and recaps will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.