LYNCHBURG, Va. – The FGCU women’s soccer team dropped their first ASUN contest of the season on Sunday when the Eagles lost 2-0 to Liberty. The Greens and Blues fall to 3-5-0 in the season and 1-1-0 in the ASUN, while Liberty improves to 5-3-2 and 1-0-1 in league play.
“Tough game for us today,” said the head coach Jim Blankenship. “Liberty are a good team and they showed that.
Liberty controlled most of the game as the Flames overtook FGCU 19-5 and held a 10-2 advantage on shots on goal. The Flames also took five corner kicks while the Eagles had none.
Despite Liberty passing the Eagles in the first half, the game remained scoreless until the break. graduate student Katie Sullivan (Wheaton, Illinois/Wheaton North HS/Creighton) made five of their six first-half saves as a sophomore Katelyn Kaufman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Norwin HS/Pitt) had the best chance for the Eagles with a shot on goal in the 12th minuteth Minute.
In the second half, Liberty made four of the first five shots before converting in the 59th take the lead for a minute. The Flames added a second goal a few minutes later in the 63approx minute for a penalty.
Even after falling behind, the Adler couldn’t muster much offense because they didn’t have a shot on goal in the second half.’
FGCU will return to Pickering Field Thursday when North Florida comes to Fort Myers. Kick-off against the Ospreys is scheduled for 7 p.m
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COACH JIM BLANKENSHIP
A veteran of over two decades in college coaching, Head Coach Jim Blankenship, who was named ASUN Coach of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019, has made FGCU women’s soccer an annual ASUN conference contender and a burgeoning program in the South region in just 13 seasons. Blankenship started the program in 2007 and has since led the Eagles to 13 seasons of double-digit wins, culminating in the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 ASUN Regular Season Championships. He also led the Eagles to back-to-back ASUN tournament titles in 2011 and 2012 when they became the first team in varsity history to make the NCAA tournament. The Eagles won 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 to the NCAA tournament three straight times with a third straight ASUN tournament title. A year later, the Eagles became the first ASUN women’s soccer program to host four straight NCAA tournaments in 2017 with one additional tournament title. Blankenship has led FGCU to an overall record of 186-73-27 (.699) in the first 15 seasons of the program’s existence, including a 94-20-15 (.791) mark in the ASUN. Blankenship’s impressive career record of 427-145-38 (.731) over 31 seasons was set while he led FGCU, University of Miami, Lynn University and St. Thomas University.
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FGCU teams have won an incredible 92 regular conference season and tournament titles in just 15 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, the Eagles have contested a total of 45 teams or individuals in NCAA championships in just 11 seasons of DI postseason eligibility. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to earn at large at the NCAA tournament. Eight FGCU programs have earned a national top-25 ranking in their respective sports — including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022), and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer ( 2018) as four of the youngest. In 2016-17, the Greens and Blues finished in the division’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and made the top-100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven teams from ASUN and Florida to earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also achieved a combined record 3.50 GPA in the classroom for the Fall 2020 semester and has surpassed the university’s general student population for 26 consecutive semesters. In the past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022), another milestone was reached as all 15 programs achieved a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also contributed an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 and were recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.