TAMPA, Fla. – FGCU women’s soccer kicked off the 2012 season with a 3-2 loss at USF in the first of two exhibition games to prepare for the regular season.
“I am pleased with our starting point,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “We started seven freshmen today, but we’ll get better as we continue to practice and get more comfortable with each other. Hopefully we can build on some of the good things that we were able to accomplish in this game.”
Sophomore Shannen Wacker (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa HS) scored an unassisted goal in the 10th minute to put the Eagles up 1-0.
USF’s Sharla Passariello quickly answered as she tied the game (1-1) in the 23rd minute. The two teams remained knotted at 1-1 heading into the intermission.
The Green and Blue struck first in the second half when Wacker scored her second goal of the game, this time off of a perfectly played ball from freshman Carolyn Richards (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian HS).
Less than a minute later, the Bulls were able to tie the game at 2-2 on a goal by Demi Stokes assisted on a cross by Kelly Campbell in the 75th minute.
USF avoided overtime on a game-winning header by Passariello delivered by Olivia Chance to put Bulls ahead 3-2 with only 2:10 left to play.
Sophomore Danielle LeRoy (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant HS) played the opening frame in net for the Eagles before giving way to freshman Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS). The duo combined for 11 saves as USF held a 23-5 edge in shots and a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks for the entire match.
The match-up against USF set the Eagles up for their final exhibition game on Saturday, Aug. 11 (1 p.m.) at FAU in Boca Raton.
After the final exhibition game on Saturday, the Green and Blue will open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 17 at home against Lynn University (7 p.m.).