13 Oct Women’s Soccer Hits the Road for Final Time in Regular Season
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s soccer team hits the road for two pivotal ASUN games this week as it hits the final stretch of the regular season. The Eagles will open the week at Jacksonville on Thursday evening before taking Liberty, Sunday afternoon.
FGCU split a pair of contests last week, taking down North Florida, 3-0, on Sunday after dropping its first ASUN contest of the season to Kennesaw State, 2-1, in double-overtime on Thursday.
Sophomore Louise Lillback (Stockholm, Sweden/Tibble Gymnasium) led the charge for the Eagles as she accounted for all four goals in the two games. Her hat trick against the Ospreys was the first for an FGCU player since Tabby Tindell completed one against Stetson in 2015 and vaulted Lillback to ASUN Player of the Week honors as well as being named an honorable mention on the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week. Lillback now has 10 goals on the season, 12th-most in the NCAA.
For her career, Lillback is now in the top-five in FGCU history in goals with 24 and top-10 in points with 52.
Most Career Goals
Most Career Points
Junior Katie Sullivan (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North HS/Creighton), picked up her sixth shutout of the season against UNF, which is top-20 in the nation.
With just three games to go in the regular season, the Eagles have an 8-6 overall record and a 5-1 record in the ASUN. They currently sit in third place in the ASUN East Division with three points in divisional games, behind Kennesaw State (4 pts) and Liberty (6 pts). The top-three teams in each division will automatically make the ASUN tournament with two extra spots for wild cards.
ASUN East Division Standings
Entering Thursday’s matchup, Jacksonville sits with an overall record of 5-7-3 and an ASUN record of 0-5-1 after drawing with Kennesaw State, 1-1, on Sunday. Tinotenda Chiweshe scored for the Dolphins, her second of the season, one behind Selma Fohrer for the team lead. Fohrer also leads the team with four assists.
Courtney Green has started 12 games in goal for JU and has made 40 saves this season.
Liberty enters the week on top of the table in the ASUN East after picking up wins over Jacksonville and Stetson last week for a total of six points. Overall they sit at 10-4-1 on the season and have an RPI of 75, the highest in the ASUN.
Maddy Oliver leads the Flames with eight goals this season which is top-40 in the country, while Kasey Jamieson has contributed with six goals and a team-high four assists. In goal, Randi Palacios is allowing just 0.78 goals per game in 15 games this season.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s soccer, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_WSoccer and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to have news on FGCU women’s soccer or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.
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 (.820) 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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