Women’s Soccer Prepares for Crucial A-Sun Final Weekend
Thursday, October 18, 2012 | by Matt Judd
Photo by Jim Dostie
Photo by Jim Dostie
Kennesaw State (9-7-1, 5-2-1 A-Sun)
FGCU (11-3-3, 6-1-1 A-Sun)
10/19/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 328
Kennesaw State000
FGCU64:55RODDAR, Julia (WACKER, Shannen , RHONEY, Shea)
KSUROBERTS, Lauren90:0018
FGCUBROWN, Brittany90:0002
Stats at a GlanceKSUFGCU
Shots (on Goal)7 (2)14 (10)
Corner Kicks49
Yellow Cards31

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Currently a point back from the top spot in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the FGCU women’s soccer team will wrap up conference regular season play this weekend when it hosts a crucial two-game homestand against Kennesaw State and Mercer.

Kennesaw State (9-6-1, 5-1-1) is tied for second in the A-Sun with the Eagles (10-3-3, 5-1-1), setting the stage for Friday night’s 7 p.m. showdown. After starting the weekend at Stetson, first place Mercer (11-3-3, 5-0-2) will come into town Sunday to play the Green and Blue at 1 p.m. to finish out regular season action. The game will be a rematch of the 2011 A-Sun Championship game in which FGCU prevailed 1-0 in double-overtime at the FGCU Soccer Complex.

Currently No. 48 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 64 projections, the Eagles will have to win both games to claim the top spot in the A-Sun regular season standings and secure an automatic bye into the semifinals and home field advantage throughout. The top two teams receive a bye into the semifinals with the top seed hosting both the semifinals and championship.

Friday night’s game will also be senior night for Ashley Ciesielczyk (Oregon, Ohio/Clay HS), Jennifer Crittenberger (Lighthouse Point, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons HS), Danielle Faller (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area HS), Julia Martin (Bayport, N.Y./Bayport Blue Point HS) and Jessica Swartzentruber (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota Christian HS). The five-member class has helped guide FGCU to back-to-back A-Sun regular season championships (2010,11), its first conference tournament championship (2011) and its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are an impressive 46-17-9 over the past four seasons.

The Green and Blue are 15-0-3 in A-Sun home games dating back to 2009, including seven straight wins heading into Friday. Since joining the A-Sun in 2007, the Eagles lead the league in conference wins (38), fewest conference losses (10) and most conference ties (9). In their last 28 A-Sun games, FGCU sports a 22-2-4 record with a 67-6 goal differential.

FGCU is 3-1-1 against Kennesaw State all-time and unbeaten against Mercer at 5-0-1.

Sophomore Shannen Wacker (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa HS) leads the Eagles in points (22), is 31st in the nation in goals (10) and seventh in the country in game-winning goals (5). Wacker is currently tied for second in FGCU single-season history for goals in a season with Amber McCall (10), who did it back in 2007. She is now only a goal behind the top spot (11) in that category, which was set by Lindsay Haw in 2007.

Freshman Shea Rhoney (Lithia, Fla./Newsome HS) is second on the team in goals (6) after her two-goal performance against in-state rival Stetson last Saturday. Classmate Ally Kasun (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield HS) is second behind Wacker in points (17), third in goals (5) and third in assists (7) behind Ciesielczyk who leads the A-Sun and is eighth in the country with nine. Junior Kayley Clay (Cape Coral, Fla./Lynn) is third on the team in points (12) and is second in assists (8).

Freshman keeper Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS) has started the last 14 games in goal for the Eagles, holding a 9-2-3 record on the season and a goals-against average (GAA) of 0.74, which is second-best in the A-Sun and leads the conference in shutouts with five.

Kennesaw State comes in to Friday’s match-up winners of five straight A-Sun games. Katrina Frost leads the team in points (21) and goals (9) and is third in the A-Sun in points and goals behind Wacker and ETSU’s Ramey Kerns. Danielle Gray is right behind Frost in each category, scoring eight goals and has tallied 19 points. Jewelia Strickland leads the Owls with seven assists and ranks fourth in the conference in that category. Goalkeeper Lauren Roberts come into play with a 0.99 GAA, which is third best in the A-Sun and has a 6-2-1 record.

Mercer is unbeaten in the A-Sun with a 5-0-2 record with its ties coming against Kennesaw State and Lipscomb. Keeper Maggie Cropp leads the conference with a 0.21 GAA and a .909 save percentage and ranks fourth in the nation in each of those categories. Lauren Gassie leads the Bears in points (18) and assists (6) and is tied for the team lead with Tess Patton in goals (6).

Live stats and video will be available for each game at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com. You can also get in-game updates through twitter @FGCUEagles and @FGCU_WSoccer. Fans can also get women’s soccer updates from around the Atlantic Sun and the nation by using the hashtags #ASUNWSOC and #D1WSOC.

Tickets are also available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com/tickets. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Single game tickets can also be bought at $6 for adults and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can get in for $3 a person. FGCU students and faculty/staff get in free with their student ID.