SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – An early goal by Ali Rogers proved to be the difference in a 1-0 win for the No. 24 FGCU women's soccer team Sunday afternoon over UC Davis. With her second goal in as many games, the senior lifted the Eagles to 1-1 in 2016 while the Aggies fell to 1-1.
"It was a great result today," said head coach Jim Blankenship. "It's just nice to get on the right track after Friday night. We had a better start and scored early. Ali (Rogers) is off to a great start with two goals in two games and she's really played well this weekend. Melissa (Weck) has been good as well. It's great for her to get this experience and she was just unlucky to give up that penalty Friday, but she's been solid for us. It's just good to get one under our belt."
It wouldn't take long for the Eagles to bounce back from a tough defeat to open the season as Rogers (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) collected a centering pass from Tabby Tindell (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic HS) less than six minutes into the match. The midfielder settled the ball and chipped UC Davis' goalkeeper from eight-yards out to put the Green and Blue in front 1-0. Melissa Weck (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS) needed to make only three saves for her first career shutout and win. The Eagles outshot the Aggies 9-7 while earning six corners compared to four for UC Davis.
Determined to get off to a better start, FGCU earned a corner just one minute into the match leading to an early attempt on goal off the foot of Tindell. The forward was denied her first goal of the year but it would lead to another corner for the Green and Blue. While FGCU was unable to score of its second corner, the Eagles grabbed the lead two minutes later.
Tindell gathered the ball, beat her mark, and found Rogers inside UC Davis' area. The seniors connected, ultimately leading to Roger's second goal in as many matches to open the 2016 season. From eight-yards out, Rogers chipped UC Davis goalkeeper Alexis Smith and the Eagles would never look back.
UC Davis first tested Weck in the 24th minute but Nicole Carson's shot went wide of goal. Tindell had a second look at goal in the 34th minute only for her effort to sail over the bar, keeping the score at 1-0 in favor of the Eagles.
Weck made the first of her three saves late in the first half, denying Zuzu Romano to send the Eagles into the break with the lead. The freshman was called upon again early in the second half, keeping Carson off the scoresheet this time and preserving the shutout. Weck's save led to a counter-attack by the Green and Blue, who were in search of an insurance tally. It was Rogers again to test Smith, but the midfielder missed her mark in the 53rd minute.
Weck had to make her final save in the 58th minute of play with FGCU maintaining the 1-0 advantage. UC Davis was only able to muster one additional shot over the final 30 minutes thanks to a solid defensive effort by the Eagles.
FGCU however continued to pressure UC Davis to close out the match. Both Lindsey Patton (White Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Northern HS) and Camille Knudstrup (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins HS) joined the attack late and tested Smith, but both missed putting the ball on frame. Megan Young (White Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Northern HS) nearly connected on a headed effort immediately after checking into the match, but it also went wide of goal.
The Eagles conceded a few set piece opportunities late in the contest but all were handled by Weck and her defense.
Rogers, Tindell and Young led the way with a pair of shots. Tori Dorr (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) also tallied a shot in the contest. With her goal, Rogers is just one goal shy of her career-high set in 2015. Tindell meanwhile moved within five assists of Ashley Ciesielczyk's career assists mark at FGCU (28). The Ocala-native is also 21 points away from the Atlantic Sun career points record (148).
The Eagles open their home slate with a pair of contests against potentially ranked opponents. Entering the season at No. 9, North Carolina visits the FGCU Soccer Complex Friday, Aug. 26 for the 2016 home-opener. The match against the 22-time national champions is set to begin at 7 p.m. The weekend concludes with a match opposite Big Ten foe and current-No. 23 Ohio State Sunday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m.