MACON, Ga. - The Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer Championship comes to a close on Sunday, November 9 with the Championship Final set for 1 p.m. ET between top-seed FGCU and No. 6 Kennesaw State on ESPN3.
After earning the right to host and a first-round bye, FGCU faced off against No. 5 Northern Kentucky Friday night. The Eagles struck first at the 11:43 mark of the first half, thanks to Paulina Speckmaier. FGCU added two more tallies to earn its fourth-straight A-Sun Championship Final appearance.
In the first round, Kennesaw State jumped on Jacksonville early with a goal within the first two minutes of the match. The Owls added four more goals to defeat the Dolphins in Jacksonville, Fla., 5-0. For the semifinals, KSU faced No. 2 Lipscomb at the FGCU Soccer Complex. Both team remained scoreless through the first 100 minutes. Late in the second overtime, Kennesaw State broke through the back line of the Lady Bisons and Khatra Mahdi sent home the game-winning goal.
Sunday's A-Sun Women's Soccer Championship Final will be broadcast on ESPN3. Live stats and more will be available through AtlanticSun.org.
2014 Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer Championship Final
#1 FGCU vs. #6 Kennesaw State | Friday, November 9; 1 p.m. | ESPN3
#1 Seed vs. #6 Seed All-Time: 1-0-0
Last Match: FGCU 2, Kennesaw State 1 (10/5/14; Kennesaw, Ga.)
Record: 16-3; 7-0
A-Sun Championships: Two - 2011, 2012
Last Time in A-Sun Championship: 2013; A-Sun Championship Runner-Up
No. 1 Seeds All-Time in A-Sun Championship: 24-3-4
- FGCU hosted the 2013 A-Sun Championship and faced Jacksonville in the championship final. Both teams remained scoreless through the full 90 minutes and both overtimes. The Dolphins eventually advanced on penalty kicks, 5-3.
- This year marks the fourth-straight year FGCU is the No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Championship. After their win over Northern Kentucky on Friday, the Eagles have advanced to the Championship Final match in each of the last four years.
- FGCU returns nine starters from its 2013 A-Sun Championship Runner-Up team. Brittany Brown, Shea Rhoney, Paulina Speckmaier, Melissa Arnold, Julia Roddar, Kaitlin Parker, Ally Kasun, Emma Blackwell and Tabby Tindell all return for the Eagles.
- FGCU placed six student-athletes on the All-Conference First Team. Brown, Blackwell, Speckmaier, Kasun, Tindell and Shannen Wacker each earned spots. Defender Arnold took a spot on the Second Team.
- Tindell collected the A-Sun Player of the Year award by unanimous decision. The sophomore forward has 18 goals and 43 points to lead the conference this year. Defender Blackwell also claimed the Defensive Player of the Year for the Eagles.
- Goalkeeper Brown leads the A-Sun in save percentage at .840 and GAA with a 0.64 mark. She adds nine shutouts to her 2014 campaign.
#6 Kennesaw State
Record: 8-10-1; 3-4
A-Sun Championships: Two - 2007, 2009
Last Time in A-Sun Championship: 2013; A-Sun Semifinals
No. 6 Seeds All-Time in A-Sun Championship: 7-15-4
- Kennesaw State defeated Lipscomb in the first round of 2013 A-Sun Championship, but fell in the next round to Jacksonville on a 2-0 result.
- This marks the first time Kennesaw State is a No. 6 seed in the A-Sun Championship. The Owls are just the second team in A-Sun Championship history to advance to the Final match as a No. 6 seed.
- Riding momentum from their 5-0 victory over Jacksonville last week, KSU took No. 2 Lipscomb to double overtime on Friday night. Khatra Mahdi sent home the game-winning score in the 107th minute and advanced the Owls into the A-Sun Championship Final.
- Goalkeeper Olivia Sturdivant made three saves in the match to earn her fourth shutout of the 2014 season. She owns a 1.19 GAA and a .717 save percentage.
- The Owls return eight starters from 2013's A-Sun Championship Semifinals team. Nicole Calder, Maggie Gaughan, Hannah Churchill, Gardardottir, Shannon Driscoll, Olivia Sturdivant, Iyani Hughes and Brittney Reed all return for KSU.
- Defender Reed was the only Owl player to make the All-Conference First Team. Gaughan was selected for the Second Team as a forward. Defender Abby Roth made the All-Freshman Team.