Women’s Soccer Ready for Tough Stretch, Beginning with Florida on Sunday

Women’s Soccer Ready for Tough Stretch, Beginning with Florida on Sunday

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A tough stretch awaits the FGCU women’s soccer team before conference play begins and it starts this Sunday as the Eagles are set to host the Florida Gators. Kickoff from Pickering Field at the FGCU Soccer Complex is set for 1 p.m and the match will be streamed on Facebook Live.

The Eagles are coming off a hard-fought road win at FIU on Wednesday. FGCU downed the Panthers, 3-2, in comeback style after falling behind in the opening minutes. Graduate students Zoey Spitzer (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) and Syniah Clark (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida Baker HS) both scored goals in the first half while junior Ashlee Brentlinger (Middletown, Del./Padua Academy) notched the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute. For all three players, it was their first goal of the season and for Clark, it was the first goal of her four-year Eagle career.

Around the ASUN, three teams, including FGCU, collected wins during the week. Jacksonville took down South Carolina Upstate, 2-0, on Tuesday while Liberty defeated Richmond, 5-2, for its first win of the season. Lipscomb suffered its first setback of 2021 on Thursday, as the Bisons fell 1-0 in overtime to #23 Pepperdine.

Florida is still looking for its first win this year after falling to rival and top-ranked team in the country, Florida State, 5-2, on Thursday. Playing a tough schedule, the Gators have also dropped contests to #20 South Florida, #19 UCF, and Miami (Fla.) while drawing with Texas.

Overall, this will be the seventh meeting between the two sides with the Gators coming away victorious in the previous six. However, this will be the first time that the two teams will play in Fort Myers.

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.



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 176-64-27 (.710) overall record through the first 15 seasons of the program’s existence, including an 86-17-15 (.801) mark in the ASUN. Blankenship’s impressive career record of 416-135-38 (.739) over 27 seasons has come while leading FGCU, the University of Miami, Lynn University and St. Thomas University.


IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!



FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.


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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