CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An early goal from junior Danielle Faller (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabeth Area HS) in the 14th minute and 12 saves from senior keeper Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS) helped the FGCU women’s soccer team start its two-game road swing through North Carolina with 2-0 win over reigning Atlantic 10 regular season champion Charlotte on Friday night in front of 1,057 fans at Transamerica Field.
The 12 saves are a career-high for Powers, who had never made more than eight stops in a game. Powers’ 20th career shutout helped the Eagles improve to 2-1 heading into Sunday’s 1 p.m. game at Davidson, who tied Georgetown, 2-2, on Friday to move to 1-0-1.
The game was the 49ers’ third straight against an A-Sun foe to open the season, as they defeated Jacksonville (2-0) and tied UNF (0-0).
“Tonight was a quality win over a very good opponent,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “It was a great team effort and I’m proud of everyone for picking up the slack with a pair of starters out. I was extremely impressed with how some of our newcomers stepped up and our veteran leadership was terrific. This was a great way to bounce back from a tough loss.”
One of those veterans, Faller, got the Green and Blue on the board at the 13:43 mark with her second career goal. FGCU gained possession in the midfield and found Faller just outside the center of the goal box. The Elizabeth, Pa. native then turned and fired a shot to the upper 90 of the left corner for the 1-0 lead.
Armed with a one-goal lead (1-0), the FGCU defense allowed the 49ers to take shots from long distance, but stopped any runs from entering the goal box, resulting in a commanding 30-14 shot advantage for the home team.
Powers was more than up to the task of fielding Charlotte’s shots from distance, as 12 of the 49ers’ 30 shots were on net, but all stopped by the senior.
Still holding a 1-0 lead, FGCU was able to add an insurance goal in the 72nd minute on a nice one-touch goal by senior Amanda Goble (Lutz, Fla./Land O’Lakes HS). With the Charlotte keeper off her line a bit, freshman Shannen Wacker (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa HS) found Goble, who touched a shot over the keeper for her fourth career goal.
Powers and the FGCU defense did the rest, clamping down over the final 15 minutes to preserve the 37th shutout in the program’s short five-year history and its nine in the last 13 contests dating back to last year.
Live stats and video are available for Sunday’s game on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.