12 Oct Lillback Honored by TopDrawerSoccer.com and ASUN
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After a stellar week in which she scored four goals, sophomore Louise Lillback (Stockholm, Sweden) has been named the ASUN Player of the Week. She was also tabbed as an honorable mention to the National Team of the Week as announced by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Lillback started the week with a goal against Kennesaw State before collecting a career-high three goals in FGCU’s win over North Florida. The hat trick is the first for the Eagles since Tabby Tindell did so against Stetson in 2015.
“I’m extremely happy for Louise,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “She is playing with a lot confidence right now and has really stepped up for the team. It’s extremely prestigious to be recognized as one of the best players of the week, not only in the ASUN, but in the entire country.”
It is the second week in a row that an FGCU player has been named ASUN Player of the Week after junior Alyssa Abbondandolo (Cape Coral, Fla./Oasis HS) earned the honor a week ago and the third time in Lillback’s career. She is also the first Eagle to be recognized by TopDrawerSoccer.com since Leah Scarpelli (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial/Penn State) last March.
With her four goals last week, Lillback now has found the back of the net 10 times this season, 12th most in the nation. Nine of those goals have come in just the last six games, all ASUN contests.
She is also now tied for fourth in FGCU history with 24 goals and ninth with 52 points..
Most Career Goals
Most Career Points
Lillback and the rest of the Eagles will now hit the road for their final road trip of the regular season. They will battle Jacksonville, Thursday at 7 p.m. before taking on Liberty, Sunday at 1 p.m.
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COACH JIM BLANKENSHIP
A veteran of over two decades in collegiate coaching, head coach Jim Blankenship, who was named the ASUN Coach of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019, has built FGCU women’s soccer into a yearly contender in the ASUN Conference and a rising program in the South Region in just 13 seasons. Blankenship started the program in 2007 and has since guided the Eagles to 13 double-digit win seasons, culminating with ASUN Regular Season Championships in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. In 2011 and 2012 he also led the Eagles to back-to-back ASUN Tournament titles as they became the first team in the history of the university to make it to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles went on to win the 2014 ASUN Tournament and hosted the first NCAA Championship event on campus. The Eagles earned their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance with the 2015 ASUN Tournament Championship and won their first NCAA game at USF in 2015 while finishing 24th in the nation. In 2016, the Eagles made it three-consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament with a third-straight ASUN Tournament title. A year later, the Eagles became the first ASUN women’s soccer program to make four-straight NCAA Tournaments with another tournament title in 2017. Blankenship has guided FGCU to a 182-68-27 (.706) overall record through the first 15 seasons of the program’s existence, including an 91-18-15 (.794) mark in the ASUN. Blankenship’s impressive career record of 422-139-38 (.736) over 31 seasons has come while leading FGCU, the University of Miami, Lynn University and St. Thomas University.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just ten seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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