FORT MYERS, Fla. - FGCU earned its return to the Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer Championship Final as the Eagles registered a 3-1 victory against fifth-seeded Northern Kentucky in the semifinals. The Eagles become the second program to reach four straight conference finals.
FGCU (16-3; 7-0) continued its offensive ways with a goal in the 12th minute from Paulina Speckmaier, a first team all-conference selection. Ali Rogers delivered the assist for Speckmaier's eighth goal of the season; second-most in the A-Sun. The Eagles, who sit 31st in the latest NCAA RPI, took a 1-0 advantage into halftime on Speckmaier's score.
Top-seeded FGCU added to its advantage in the 55th minute as the A-Sun Player of the Year, Tabby Tindell, tallied her 18th goal of the year. Her 18 goals are 16th-most in A-Sun single-season history, while her 43 points are tied for 16th most. First Team All-Conference selection, Shannen Wacker notched her 14th assist on the goal to push the senior forward into a tie for 11th all-time.
Junior midfielder, Ally Kasun increased FGCU's score to 3-0 on a long shot from outside the box in the 81st minute. It marked her fourth goal this year as Lauren Greene delivered the assist. NKU struck back one minute later as the Norse earned a penalty kick. A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Macy Hamblin stepped the mark and netted her eighth score for the Norse.
FGCU claimed a new program record for wins in a season with its 16th triumph. Northern Kentucky's season ends at 9-8-3 to give the Norse its first winning season as NCAA Division I team. The nine wins also mark a D-I program record.
FGCU advances to face Kennesaw State in the Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer Championship Final takes place on Sunday, Nov. 9th at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN3. KSU defeated Lipscomb, 1-0, in double overtime earlier in the night.
Match Minute Report
GOAL - 13' - FGCU 1, Northern Kentucky 0 - Paulina Speckmaier
Speckmaier received ball from Ali Rogers and Shea Rhoney to give Eagles early 1-0 advantage.
1' to 15' - FGCU held early shot advantage 2-0 as Shannen Wacker posted game's first shot in 8th minute.
16' to 30' - Northern Kentucky nearly tied match as Katelyn Newton hit the crossbar in the 17th minute. FGCU recorded three shots in middle of the half as Julia Roddar's attempt in 21st minute was saved by Brooke Schocker.
31' to 45' - NKU made five subs over final 15 minutes. Eagles attempted three corner kicks before the half, while Ally Kasun's shot was saved by Schocker in 42nd minute.
HALFTIME BREAKDOWN - FGCU 1, Northern Kentucky 0
Corner Kicks: FGCU 5, NKU 1; Fouls: FGCU 6, NKU 4; Offside: FGCU 1, NKU 0; Shots: FGCU 8, NKU 2; Shots on Goal: FGCU 3, NKU 0; Saves: FGCU 0, NKU 2
GOAL - 55' - FGCU 2, Northern Kentucky 0 - Tabby Tindell
Tindell tallied her 18th goal of the season on a service from Shannen Wacker into the box. Marked Wacker's 14th assist.
46' to 60' - FGCU opened second half with four shots and two corner kicks. NKU's Aubrey Muench delivered first shot of second half, which went wide right. NKU's Jessica Frey received Yellow Card in 56th minute.
61' to 75' - NKU's Brooke Schocker tallied two saves over time frame. NKU's Sam Davis and Elizabeth Wittwer entered the game.
GOAL - 81' - FGCU 3, Northern Kentucky 0 - Ally Kasun
Strike from 20 yards by Kasun went past the diving Schocker for Kasun's fourth goal this year.
GOAL - 82' - FGCU 3, Northern Kentucky 1 - Macy Hamblin
NKU earned a penalty kick with a foul in the box on FGCU defender. Hamblin went far post for her eighth goal in 2014.
76' to 90' - Eagles posted only two shots in final set, while NKU tallied one on Macy Hamblin's shot in 88th minute which was saved by Brittany Brown.
FULL TIME BREAKDOWN - FGCU 3, Northern Kentucky 1
Corner Kicks: FGCU 11, NKU 2; Fouls: FGCU 10, NKU 7; Offside: FGCU 2, NKU 1; Shots: FGCU 17, NKU 5; Shots on Goal: FGCU 7, NKU 2; Saves: FGCU 1, NKU 4