FORT MYERS, Fla. – A pair of goals from senior Olivia Elias (Coral Springs, Fla./American Heritage Delray HS) highlighted a solid all-around performance by the FGCU women’s soccer team during a 3-0 Atlantic Sun win over ETSU on a windy Sunday afternoon at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
Elias got the Eagles on the board in the 19th minute of the first half and provided the insurance tally at the 53:18 mark to help extend FGCU’s A-Sun unbeaten streak to 20 games (17-0-3).
“I’m really proud of the girls and how they played,” said fifth-year head coach Jim Blankenship. “Right from the start we were relentless and took control of the pace. I think that was important because we seemed nervous and that settled us down. Overall, we played some great soccer and scored some really nice goals against a tough ETSU side.”
The game featured the A-Sun’s top two teams in the standings, as the Eagles moved into a tie for first place with Jacksonville (6-1-1) with the win. The Green and Blue are 6-0-1 in league action, good for 19 points, and 11-3-2 overall. The loss was the first in A-Sun play for ETSU (11-4, 6-1).
The three goals brings FGCU’s goal differential to 12-0 over the two weekend wins and 21-0 through seven A-Sun contests. The Eagles also extended their shutout streak to eight games, a span that runs 782 minutes.
Senior Gina Petracco (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) added the third goal of the game in the 74th minute which was also her third goal of the weekend. A turnover in the ETSU box saw Elias feed a ball to the center where Petracco put it into the open net. The Fort Myers product has her team-leading seven goals over the last 10 games.
The shutout was the 10th of the season and the 29th of senior goalkeeper Stephanie Powers’ (Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS) illustrious career. Powers is now tied for the A-Sun all-time lead in shutouts, equaling the total produced by Stetson’s April Eilering from 2003-06.
Powers was forced to make just two saves on the afternoon, as the strong back line of seniors KC Correllus (Merritt Island, Fla./Satellite HS/Florida State) and Kat Hunter (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic HS), redshirt junior Ashley Ciesielczyk (Oregon, Ohio/Clay HS) and junior Jessica Crittenberger (Lighthouse Point, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons HS) limited the A-Sun’s most prolific offense to just three shots. The quartet allowed just six shots over the two-game weekend.
FGCU produced the only goal in a well-played opening first half for the home team. A nice through-ball by senior Brittany Burt (St. Petersburg, Fla./Northeast HS/USF) put Elias one-on-one with ETSU keeper Caitlin Gaughan. Elias dribbled into the box, freezing Gaughan before sliding a shot to the right corner of the net to give FGCU a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.
The Eagles owned an 8-1 shot advantage over the opening 45 minutes to take the lead into the half, improving to 9-0 when scoring first this season.
Elias’ second goal in the 54th minute was set up by a play that started on the FGCU defensive side of the field. Hunter played the ball to Ciesielczyk who worked her way through the midfield to find Elias for her fifth goal of the season. The assist extends Ciesielczyk’s program single-season record total to 12.
FGCU will close out the A-Sun regular season next weekend when it heads to Nashville, Tenn. for a pair of games. The Eagles’ two-game road trip will begin on Friday, Oct. 21 at Lipscomb. Gametime is slated for 8 p.m. ET.