MIAMI, Fla. – A second half goal by Tabby Tindell was once again the difference for the FGCU women's soccer team in a 1-0 victory over Miami Thursday night. The 1-0 win marked the second victory over Miami in program history and with the win, FGCU is now 3-3 on the season while Miami falls to 5-2.
"It was a phenomenal win," said head coach Jim Blankenship. "It was a great performance and a great result on the road. We really played well and I'm pleased with the progression as we go. Each week we seem to be getting better and better. We beat a very good team that's having a really good year. They're very dynamic and dangerous and we did a great job keeping them at bay. It was a really strong performance by the backline and (Melissa) Weck. It was a complete team performance."
FGCU won its second-ever match over Miami. Both wins for FGCU in the series were in Coral Gables with the first coming in 2014. Tindell scored the winner in 2014 and did so again in the latest win for the Green and Blue, heading home a cross from Ali Rogers for her second goal of the season and 54th of her career. Tindell's goal ended a shutout streak of 339 minutes for the Hurricanes and 319 minutes for their goalkeeper, Phallon Tullis-Joyce. Miami entered the match as the No. 6 offense nationally in goals per game (3.33) but the Eagles stifled the 'Canes, a team that had not been shutout this season. Melissa Weck made four saves, including one late in the match which she tipped onto the crossbar for her third career shutout.
In a fairly even first half, both the Eagles and Hurricanes had chances but neither would find the net. FGCU controlled the tempo and the bulk of possession early in the match but it was Miami who had the first opportunity in the 9th minute. The Hurricanes earned consecutive corners, with the first resulting in a scramble in front of net and a clearance for a second corner, which was cleared away. FGCU would earn a corner just two minutes later but it would also not result in a dangerous opportunity.
Tindell got going in the 13th minute, finding space behind the Hurricane defense. The senior put a shot toward goal, but it was blocked by a defender and back off of her for a goal kick. Three minutes later, Emilie Olsen gathered the ball at the top of the box and curled a shot toward goal, but it was saved by Tullis-Joyce.
The Eagles continued to press forward, earning a corner in the 22nd minute of play. The corner was cleared and nearly led to a counter by the Hurricanes but play was slowed by the Eagles as Miami gradually began to apply the majority of the pressure. The 'Canes most dangerous chances came off set pieces in the first half, as both of Weck's saves in the opening 45 minutes were a result of those situations.
The Green and Blue had the better of play to end the half, earning two corners during the final five minutes. The first of which came off a Tindell shot that went wide of goal but was tipped for safety by the Miami goalkeeper. On the ensuing corner, Paulina Speckmaier sent a perfect cross into the box toward the far post. Unfortunately for FGCU, the ball was not redirected toward goal. On the second corner with a minute remaining, Hudson put a header on goal which was blocked away and cleared. The ball then landed at the feet of Ashley Parks who tested the 'keeper from distance but could not score the first goal of the match.
Following an early corner for the Hurricanes in the second half, the Eagles again began to control the tempo, eventually finding the opener. Minutes after having a shot blocked, Tindell was on the other end of a Rogers cross after the midfielder beat her defender down the line. Rogers found Tindell, who was making a run to the far post and the forward headed it smartly back across goal to put FGCU up 1-0, ending Miami's shutout streak in the process.
Speckmaier tested Miami in the 67th minute but had her shot miss high. Looking for a second goal, Nikki Hudson found herself in a pocket of space and took a shot from 20 yards out. Tullis-Joyce denied Hudson, tipping the shot over the bar to keep the match at 1-0. On the ensuring corner, Lindsey Patton found the ball at her feet and the freshman flicked the ball toward goal but the Hurricane goalkeeper made a diving save to give FGCU another corner.
While the second corner did not result in anything dangerous for FGCU, the Eagles limited the time Miami spent in FGCU's defensive third. With 20 minutes remaining in the match, the hosts began to increase their urgency.
In the 72nd minute, the Hurricanes had a shot blocked before a diving header was saved by Weck. The freshman made a less stressful save a few minutes later on a long-distance effort to keep the Eagles in front 1-0.
The final 15 minutes produced the best chance of the evening for Miami. In the 88th minute, Miami's Kristina Fisher took one final shot but Weck saved it, tipping it onto the crossbar. The rebound was cleared away allowing the Eagles to finish off the remaining two minutes of the match.
FGCU outshot Miami 12-11 and held a 7-4 edge in corners.
The Eagles return home to face UCF Sunday at 1 p.m. at the FGCU Soccer Complex.