FORT MYERS, Fla. – A goal from one of the nation's premier goal scorers and another from the first career goal from a freshman gave the FGCU women' soccer team a 2-0 victory over St. Bonaventure (2-5-1) Sunday afternoon. The Eagles (5-4) have now won consecutive matches for the first time this season with Atlantic Sun play on the horizon.
"To get a win is always important," said head coach Jim Blankenship. "We got a chance to play a lot of people so to walk away with a win on a Sunday is great. We've felt that the last two Sundays we should have gotten a result. I'm proud of the effort today and that second goal was a big goal, it took a lot of pressure off."
In a dominant first half for the Green and Blue, the first goal of the match came from Tabby Tindell (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic HS) who finished off her sixth goal of the season in the 20th minute. FGCU held the visitors to just two shots in the opening 45 minutes, requiring just one save from Melissa Weck (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS) to take a 1-0 lead into the half. FGCU had to wait until the 77th for an insurance tally, an opportunistic goal from Megan Young (White Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Northern HS), the freshman's first of her career.
The first chance of the match came from the Eagles, a Meaghan Mulligan (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck High School/Tennessee) header off a Tindell cross, but the midfielder's header was blocked in the fifth minute. On the ensuing corner, Paulina Speckmaier (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep/Florida) had a shot go high. Speckmaier had another effort go high just before Nikki Hudson (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park County School/Rutgers) replicated her effort in the 11th minute.
FGCU broke through in the 20th minute thanks to Tindell's 58th career goal, moving her into sole possession of fourth place for most in ASUN history. Lindsey Patton (Jacksonville, Fla./Oakleaf HS) passed the ball out wide to Mulligan who immediately found Tindell at the top of the box. Tindell created space and found the upper 90 to put the Eagles up 1-0.
The Bonnie defense would not have long to rest however as Tindell was one-on-one with the goalkeeper minutes later. Tindell hit the post with her shot before it was gathered by Lauren Malcolm, the 'keeper.
FGCU continued to dominate possession, producing another shot from Speckmaier in the 28th minute. Tori Dorr (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) also tested Malcolm, but her shot in the 34th minute was saved.
Lexi Littlefield (Centreville, Virg./Centreville HS) produced a shot late in the half but was also denied her first collegiate goal.
The second half began with a plethora of changes for the Green and Blue, paving the way for a memorable moment.
Weck made four saves in the second half, the first of which came in the 49th minute. The freshman was called upon again in the 55th minute to keep the match at 1-0 in favor of FGCU.
Emilie Olsen (Frekhaug, Norway/Tertnes VGS) had a good look at goal in the 60th minute of play but it was saved by Malcolm. FGCU tallied an insurance goal in the 77th minute, taking advantage of a defensive miscue. Young won the ball back from a Bonnie defender 18 yards from goal, took a touch and beat a charging Malcolm for her first career goal.
The Eagles would surrender just one additional solid chance the rest of the way as Weck recorded her fifth shutout of the season.
FGCU outshot St. Bonaventure 19-11 on the night with both goalkeepers making five saves.
FGCU begins ASUN play at home against Stetson Friday night at 7 p.m. as the Green and Blue look to stay atop the conference for the seventh-straight season. Then on Sunday, FGCU concludes non-conference play with a match against Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday at 1 p.m.