FORT MYERS, Fla. – One week after signing an international forward to help in the attack, FGCU women's soccer head coach Jim Blankenship looked overseas once again, signing Irish U19 international and former U16 and U17 captain Jamie Finn to his 2016 squad.
Finn has made 37 international appearances from the U16 to U19 level and recently appeared for the Irish U19 team against Germany in an attempt to make the U19 European Championships.
"We are excited to add Jamie to an already strong 2016 recruiting class and returning group of players," said Blankenship. "Jamie is an excellent ball-winner and her ability to play along the backline and in midfield will be a great asset to us come fall. Her experience at the international levels with the U19's and at the Euros with the U17's will help us as we look to tackle our challenging 2016 schedule."
Born in Dublin, Finn played for Shelbourne Ladies Football Club while not on international duty. For Shelbourne, Finn has developed through their system gaining recognition at the national level.
Finn was entrusted with the captain's armband as Ireland attempted to qualify for the European Championships in 2015. The Irish qualified for the Elite Round, allowing just a single goal through three matches thanks to a defense anchored by Finn who also scored in the first match against Lithuania.
Ireland then defeated rivals England 2-0 to open the Elite Round as Finn's defense again proved to be too much for opponents. The Irish did not allow a single goal, qualifying for the Finals for the first time since 2010. Finn was one of three finalists for the U17 Ireland Player of the Year award, one year after being named Ireland's U16 Player of the Year.
Finn has appeared in defense as well as in the midfield during her playing career, but has featured primarily in a defensive role.
Finn comes to FGCU following the departure of Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year Emma Blackwell. The Eagles allowed a conference-best 15 goals last season including only three during ASUN play. During FGCU's stretch of six-straight ASUN regular season titles, the Eagles have allowed 17 goals or fewer in each of those title-winning seasons.
The Eagles will have a chance to prove themselves on a national level early in the 2016 season against North Carolina and Ohio State at the FGCU Soccer Complex. The Green and Blue open their home slate against the 22-time National Champions Tar Heels on Aug. 26 before facing the Buckeyes Aug. 28. Tickets for both matches are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting FGCUTickets.com or by calling the FGCU Ticket Office at 239-590-7145.