Wacker’s Hat Trick Sparks FGCU’s Offensive Outburst Against NKU
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Shannen Wacker (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa HS) continued her torrid offensive streak on Sunday, netting just the program’s third-ever hat trick to highlight a 6-0 Atlantic Sun win over visiting Northern Kentucky Sunday afternoon at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
Since last Sunday’s game against ETSU, Wacker has scored seven goals in three games and has 10 goals on the season, including a program record five game-winners. With her hat trick today, she is now tied for second all-time in goals in a season with Amber McCall (10), who did it back in 2007. Wacker is now only a goal behind the top spot (11) in that category, which was set by Lindsay Haw back in 2007. She also currently ranks fourth in the team’s single-season record for points (21).
Two of Wacker’s goals came in the second half where FGCU added to its 1-0 lead at the break with five tallies in the final 45 minutes. FGCU remains perfect in the A-Sun at 4-0 and sits at 9-2-2, just one win away from the program’s sixth straight double figure win campaign in six seasons of existence.
Over its last 25 A-Sun games, FGCU is an incredible 21-1-3, out-scoring its opponents 62-4. Playing in its first season in Division I and as a member of the A-Sun, Northern Kentucky is 4-8 and 1-3 in conference action.
“I’m really pleased with our effort today. We got some early goals and we possessed the ball for much of the game,” said head coach Jim Blankenship. “I’m happy with the weekend, we got two wins and that’s not always easy.”
The shutout was the sixth of the season for the Green and Blue and their third in the last four games. For the second time this weekend, the FGCU midfield and defense dominated on the Eagles’ half of the field, limiting the Norse to just two shots. FGCU allowed just three shots over the two games this weekend.
Wacker got the team on the board in the 32nd minute when she corralled a blocked shot attempt and buried the rebound into the lower right corner for the 1-0 lead.
After taking its 1-0 lead into the break, FGCU wasted no time in the second half when freshman Ally Kasun (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield HS) registered her fourth goal of the year on a shot that beat the goalkeeper in the lower left corner in the 49th minute to make it a 2-0 game. Senior Ashley Ciesielczyk (Oregon, Ohio/ Clay HS) and sophomore Julia Roddar (Falun, Sweden/Wisconsin) were both credited with assists on the goal.
A little over a minute later, Wacker scored her second of the game when Ciesielczyk found her inside the box in the 50th minute. That goal extended Wacker’s multi-goal streak, while the assist gave Ciesielczyk 26 for her career to add to her already program record.
Junior Kayley Clay (Cape Coral, Fla./Lynn) recorded the fourth goal of the game and her second of the season in the 64th minute when she was taken down inside the box by a Northern Kentucky player and was awarded a penalty kick. Clay was able to beat the keeper in the upper right corner.
A little over two minutes later, Wacker received a pass from Clay and Kasun and was able to walk through the defenders in the 66th minute and net the hat trick.
Kaitlin Parker (Palm Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic HS) netted the final goal for FGCU in the 75th minute when she received a pass from sophomore Melissa Arnold (Sickleville, N.J./Timber Creek Regional HS) from the right side and Parker was able to slip the ball into the lower left corner. The assist was Arnold’s third this season.
Freshmen goalkeeper’s Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS) and Danielle LeRoy (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant HS) split time in net for the Eagles and helped preserve the shutout. The only shot on net for Northern Kentucky was stopped by LeRoy in the second half.
FGCU will be back in action Friday, October 6, when it takes on North Florida in Jacksonville. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.