FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Julia Roddar’s (Falun, Sweden/Shattuck-St. Mary’s Academy/Wisconsin) goal in the 65th minute of the second half proved to be the difference as the FGCU women’s soccer team posted its eighth shutout of the season en route to a critical 1-0 Atlantic Sun victory over Kennesaw State on Friday night at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
The win not only moves the Eagles (11-3-3) into sole possession of second place in the A-Sun standings with 19 points (6-1-1), but also keeps their hopes at three-peating as regular season champs alive when they host first place Mercer (6-0-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The winner of Sunday’s 2011 A-Sun Tournament Championship rematch will clinch the regular season crown and earn the No. 1 seed and host duties of the 2012 A-Sun Tournament semifinals and championship. If the two teams tie, Mercer would take home the regular season crown, while the Green and Blue would get a bye into the semifinals as the No. 2 seed.
FGCU also lengthened its home A-Sun unbeaten streak to 19 games (16-0-3), including a current eight-game win streak during that span. Kennesaw State, who entered in a tie for second place with FGCU, falls to 9-7-1 overall and 5-2-1 in the A-Sun, sitting in a tie for third with North Florida (5-2-1) at 16 points.
“I’m pleased with the result and it feels good to get the win,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “The team played absolutely phenomenal tonight against a really good Kennesaw State side. It was a tight battle through the first half and we were able to get the goal by Roddar in the second half. It was an all-around good performance from the girls.”
Prior to the game, FGCU honored its five-member senior class, which, fittingly, posted the 40th shutout during their four years against the Owls. Freshman keeper Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS) made two stops on the night and earned her sixth shutout this year, which ranks first in the A-Sun.
In the 65th minute, senior Ashley Ciesielczyk (Oregon, Ohio/Clay HS) received a pass from freshman Shea Rhoney (Lithia, Fla./Newsome HS) on the right side. Ciesielczyk made a pass inside the box to Roddar, who beat the keeper on the left. A transfer from Wisconsin, the goal was Roddar’s first since joining the Green and Blue.
The assist is Ciesielczyk’s 28th of her career, which lengthens her program record and puts her into a tie for seventh all-time in A-Sun history. The assist for Rhoney was her fifth this season and gives her 17 points, which is tied for second on the team.