TAMPA, Fla. – The FGCU women’s soccer team saw six different players score as the Eagles defeated LIU Brooklyn 7-0 Sunday afternoon at USF’s Corbett Stadium. With two wins at the USF Tournament, the Green and Blue improve to 3-0-1 on the season, while LIU falls to 1-2 to start the year.
The Green and Blue took a 3-0 lead into halftime after first-half goals fromAlly Kasun (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield High School), transfer Nikki Hudson(Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country School/Rutgers) and Paige Law(Sanibel Island, Fla./Bishop Verot High School). Paulina Speckmaier(Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) started the second half for the Eagles with a left-footed shot from close range in the 53rd minute to push the Eagles ahead 4-0 before Kaitlin Parker (Palm Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic High School), Kasun and Shea Rhoney (Lithia, Fla./Newsome High School) added goals for the Green and Blue in the final 25 minutes.
FGCU finished with a 7-0 victory for its largest advantage against a Division I opponent in nonconference play since the 2007 season.
Overall, the Eagles outshot the Blackbirds 24-2 with 14 shots on goal.Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece-Athena High School) made one save in 90 minutes for her fourth shutout of the season and 31st of her career. With the clean sheet, Brown ties Stephanie Powers as the FGCU all-time shutout leader and matches Powers’ Atlantic Sun record in the same category.
Kasun led the charge with two goals in the afternoon contest, while Parker added a 68th minute goal and assisted on Hudson’s first goal with the Green and Blue. Junior Tabby Tindell (Ocala, Fla/Trinity Catholic High School) added three assists on the day to push the Eagles to their third-straight win, with rookie Shay Jackson contributing her first point with an assist on Kasun’s second goal.
“I’m happy with our performance today and proud of the team for their efforts,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “Six different players scoring says a lot about our balance and it creates confidence and excitement for the rest of the season.”
Brown’s lone test of the day came in just the second minute of action as a LIU forward fired a shot that the FGCU keeper stopped right away. From there, FGCU controlled play through the final whistle with an offensive outpouring.
Kasun’s first goal of the season pushed the Eagles ahead 1-0 in the 15th minute when the senior was fed a ball from Tindell at the top of the box. Kasun fired a shot that found the back of the net and pulled the game’s momentum in FGCU’s favor.
The team continued the offensive attack and saw shots from freshmanCamille Knudstrup (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins High School) and Rhoney in the next five minutes.
In the 28th minute, Parker sent a pass to the far post where Hudson tapped it in with her left foot and give the Green and Blue a two-goal advantage. The goal was Hudson’s first since joining FGCU.
Senior Emma Blackwell (Jenks, Okla./Jenks High School) added an attempt for the Eagles but the shot went wide in the 30th minute. In the 38th minute, Tindell advanced the ball through the defense and found Law in front of the net. Law’s header made its way past the LIU keeper to push FGCU ahead 3-0 as halftime approached.
The Eagles held an 11-1 advantage in shots and produced five corner kicks through the first 45 minutes of action.
FGCU opened the second half firing on all cylinders again and saw early shots from Tindell and Knudstrup that both went high. In the 52nd minute, Speckmaier took control of the ball from the LIU backline and pushed a shot through a scramble of players and past the LIU keeper to increase the advantage to 4-0.
Speckmaier added consecutive shots in the minutes that followed but LIU produced a counter attack in the 58th minute. The Blackbirds fired a shot, but the attempt was blocked by the FGCU backline to maintain the shutout.
FGCU again saw shots from Knudstrup and Ashley Parks (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette High School) and moved the score to 5-0 in the 68th minute when Tindell pushed through the defense and found Parker. Parker’s shot found the back of the net for her first goal of the 2015 season.
Meaghan Mulligan (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck High School/Tennessee) fired back-to-back shots for FGCU in the 74th minute to keep the pressure on the Blackbird defense before freshman Shay Jackson (Parkville, Mo./Park Hill South High School) assisted Kasun’s second goal of the day in the 78th minute.
With a 6-0 advantage, FGCU earned a free kick from 25-yards out in the 83rd minute. Rhoney put the shot past the LIU wall and found the lower corner of the net to bring the final score to 7-0 in favor of the Eagles.
Overall, the Eagles produced 14 shots on goal from nine different shooters and saw 19 players take the field against LIU.
The Eagles will continue the four-game streak away from the FGCU Soccer Complex with two West Coast contests next weekend. FGCU will take on Cal State Fullerton on Friday, Sept. 4 with an 8 p.m. EST kickoff and will face San Diego State Sunday, Sept. 6 at 10 p.m. EST.