JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two second-half goals by North Florida helps the Osprey defeat FGCU’s women’s soccer team, 2-0, in Atlantic Sun Conference play Friday night. Carolina Lencina received a pass from Lauren Hopfensperger in the 64th minute and she was able to get past a defender and chip the shot over the goalkeeper’s head to the far post, for the first goal and the eventual game-winner. The Ospreys sealed the victory in the 85th minute when Hopfensperger beat the keeper from 35 yards out to give UNF a 2-0 lead.
“I’m disappointed with the result. Give credit to North Florida, they made all the big plays when they needed to” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “We had some opportunities in the game and we didn’t take advantage of them. We were out played and out worked.”
FGCU drops to 9-3-2 and 4-1-0 in A-Sun action while North Florida improves to 5-6-2 and 3-0-1 in conference play. FGCU still sits atop the A-Sun with 12 points after the loss, with UNF and Jacksonville in a tie for second place with 10 (3-0-1).
The loss ends a six-game conference unbeaten streak for FGCU, which was started last season with a 2-1 win over UNF in the 2011 A-Sun Tournament. This is the first loss all-time vs. UNF with FGCU previously 5-0-1 against the Osprey since 2007.
The Shutout also ends sophomore Shannen Wacker’s (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa HS) three-game, multi-goal streak which saw her score seven total goals. Wacker ended the night with three total shots and only one of them was on goal. This is only the second loss in the past 26 A-Sun games and only the fifth and sixth goal allowed by the Eagles over the 26 games played.
The first half had scoring opportunities for both teams with FGCU leading with a 9-7 shot differential over the Osprey but both teams had to settle with a 0-0 score at halftime.
The Osprey were able to get the offense started early in the second half, registering the first four shots. On the third shot of the second half, Lencina was able to beat freshman keeper Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS) to give North Florida a 1-0 lead. Brown made six saves in the loss to UNF.
The Eagles didn’t give up and in the 74th minute, freshman Kaitlin Parker (Palm Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic HS) had an opportunity to tie the game when she put a header on net, but keeper Brittany Hahn was able to make a save on the shot. North Florida kept on the attack and in the 85th minute, Hopfensperger netted her second goal of the year and secured the victory for the Osprey.
North Florida gave few opportunities for the Eagles to score in the second half, limiting them to only two shots.
The Eagles will try to get back on track when they play at the University of Jacksonville, Sunday at 2 p.m.