FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s soccer team (5-2-1) had its six-match unbeaten streak snapped courtesy of a late Memphis goal as the Tigers earned a 2-1 victory over the Eagles Friday night at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
Reigning Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week Tabby Tindell (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic HS) continued her torrid play as the freshman scored her seventh goal of the year in the 57th minute to pull FGCU even, 1-1. However, Memphis (6-2-0) tallied the winning strike in the 86th minute to hand the Eagles their first loss since a setback in their season opener at then-No. 9 Florida on Aug. 23.
“I’m proud of the way the girls played; we were all over it,” head coach Jim Blankenship said. “We played well and had opportunities, but we ended up giving up those two goals where we had chances to win tackles and it wound up costing us.
“This is a top-30 team in the country and we had them on the ropes,” Blankenship added of his team which won two games in Hawai’i over the weekend. “I’m proud of the way they played, especially considering we got back on Tuesday following an 18-hour flight. We had a lot of effort and there’s some great potential moving forward.”
Memphis – which defeated Alabama last weekend, 6-0 – scored off a set piece in the 30th minute to go up, 1-0. A Kaitlyn Atkins cross was blocked down by the FGCU backline, but the ball found its way to Diamond Simpson, who fired a close-angle shot into the top of the netting.
Tindell responded with her goal 12 minutes into the second half. Shannen Wacker (Parker Colo./Ponderosa HS) stole the ball off a Memphis defender and slid a pass across to Tindell, who took a moment to settle herself before beating a charging keeper and slotting her shot with the inside of her right foot into the right-side netting.
However, Memphis took the win after Nugene Nugent beat several FGCU defenders in the middle of the pitch before moving the ball to the right side of the field and taking it all the way down near the goal line. From there, she crossed a ball back into the middle of the box, perfectly on to Valerie Sanderson’s head, who beat goalkeeper Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS) to her right.
The loss not only snapped the aforementioned six-game unbeaten streak for the Green and Blue, but also a 13-match unbeaten streak at home, dating back to a 4-0 loss to then-No. 12 UCF on Aug. 19 last season.
For Tindell, the forward attempted four shots for the night and all four were on frame as she continues to make herself a formidable presence at the top of the FGCU attack. With her seven goals of the year, she is already tied for the sixth-most in a single season in program history – four off tying the all-time record – with still 10 regular-season contests remaining.
Already coming off a quick turnaround from its games in Hawai’i, FGCU will face another stern opponent in just two days as the Eagles head to Orlando tomorrow and then battle UCF on Sunday. The Knights earned a 1-1 tie at No. 10 Georgetown Thursday night – the first time a team has traveled to Washington, D.C., and left with a result other than a loss since October 2011. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m., and it will be the final non-conference game of the campaign for the Green and Blue.
2013-14 women’s soccer season tickets are now available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.