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Berger, Wacker Guide @FGCU_WSoccer Past Northern Kentucky
|FGCU||10:51||BERGER, Tessa (SPECKMAIER, Paulina )|
|FGCU||39:16||WACKER, Shannen (RHONEY, Shea )|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||NKU|
|Shots (on Goal)||25 (11)||8 (2)|
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.– The FGCU women’s soccer team (8-3-1, 3-0) used a pair of first-half goals opposite Northern Kentucky University (4-7-1, 0-3) to pick up its third-straight victory to remain unbeaten in Atlantic Sun play while also collecting a second-consecutive clean sheet in the 2-0 victory, the sixth so far this season.
The Eagles peppered the NKU defense with shots in the first half, outshooting the Norse 13-4. After trading shots over the first 10 minutes, freshman defender Tessa Berger (Mahurangi East, New Zealand/Epsom Girls Grammar School), fresh off being named A-Sun Co-Defender of the Week, would pick up her third goal of the season just shy of the 11-minute mark. She took a service from defending A-Sun Player of the Week, Paulina Speckmaier (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep/University of Florida), who was making just her third start of the season, and re-directed the ball home to give FGCU the early 1-0 lead. The assist by Speckmaier gives her six points (two goals, two assists) over the last two games.
Following the first score, the Eagles outshot the Norse 9-1 over the next 15 minutes. NKU stopped the run with back-to-back shots in the 36th and 38th minutes before FGCU managed another attempt. Fortunately the Eagles, that next attempt would result in their second goal.
That goal came in the 40th minute when Shea Rhoney (Lithia, Fla./Newsome HS) found Shannen Wacker (Parker Colo./Ponderosa HS) who came off the bench for the first time since Aug. 25 to register her second goal in as many games. Her second goal of the season moved her into a tie with Berger for third on the team with eight points.
“I am pleased with our performance and the result tonight” head coach Jim Blankenship stated after the game. “I thought we set the tone early and pressed the tempo. It was a good win on the road that we will enjoy tonight while also shifting our attention to Lipscomb.”
Of the 13 FGCU shots in the first half, Speckmaier hammered out seven and would finish with eight for the game but no goal to show for it. Over the previous three contests alone, the Miami, Fla. native has attempted 13 shots.
To begin the second half, the Eagles kept the Norse out of the shot column for 20 minutes. During that time the Green and Blue took six shots of their own. That trend would continue over the final 25 minutes as the FGCU defense remained stout and allowed the Norse just three more tries at goal before shutting them down for good.
Despite 12 shots in the second half, the Eagles were unable to tally any additional goals. The Green and Blue would collect an 11-0 corner kick advantage and force NKU goalkeeper Tanner Ruberg to make nine saves in the process.
FGCU goalkeeper Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS) did not need to make a single save in the opening frame and ended up making just two in a game that saw the Eagles outshoot the Norse 25-8. The Eagles attempted more shots just once this season, opposite Davidson on Aug. 30 when the Green and Blue registered 30 shots en route to a 0-0 double-overtime tie.
The Eagles will look to stay unbeaten in conference play on Sunday (Oct. 6) when they travel to Lipscomb for a 1 p.m. meeting. The Eagles got the best of the Bisons last season at the FGCU Soccer Complex, claiming a 2-0 victory. In six all-time meetings with the Nashville-based school, FGCU has never lost, owning a 5-0-1 record.
2013-14 men’s soccer season tickets are now available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.