FGCU Receives NSCAA Southeast Region Recognition

FGCU Receives NSCAA Southeast Region Recognition

(From FGCUAthletics.com)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –  Three FGCU women's soccer standouts have been selected as representatives on the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women's All-Southeast Region Team as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America on Wednesday afternoon. Tabby Tindell and Emma Blackwell earned spots on the second team while Ally Kasun joins the third team.

"These three were great for us all year long," head coach Jim Blankenship added. "Emma is the anchor, Ally is the engine that makes us go and Tabby is just a special player. All three obviously contribute in their own special way and this recognition is well deserved. All three had great seasons to remember and we're looking forward to more of the same next season."

The FGCU trio are the only individuals to represent the Atlantic Sun in the Southeast Region.

Tindell, the preseason A-Sun Player of the Year, was as good as advertised this season. She currently ranks top five in the nation in five offensive categories including game-winning goals (11 – First), points (48 – Fifth), Goals (20 – Third), Points Per Game (2.29 – Fifth) and Goals Per Game (0.952 – Fifth). Her 20 goals and 48 points both led the A-Sun by wide margins over her own teammates and both are also FGCU single-season records. Her 20 goals came on just one more shot than she took all of last season. She has set the FGCU all-time goals record with 35 in her career and is second only to Shannen Wacker with 82 points. Tindell also showed a pension for distribution by handing out eight assists, which ranked second in the A-Sun behind Wacker's 15.

She opened up the season with a bang by scoring two goals against Pac-12 foe Arizona then scored again five days later at Miami to give the Eagles a 2-0 start. She would score multiple goals in a match three more times before heading north to La Salle where she would score twice more to guide the Eagles to a 3-2 shootout victory in overtime. She has collected 12 points against A-Sun opponents this year with five goals and a pair of assists. During the Eagles record 13-game winning streak she has scored at least one point in each match. She was named the A-Sun Player of the Week three times this season and chosen to the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week three times while also being ranked by TopDrawer as the No. 92 player in the nation. She is the first Player of the Year for FGCU since KC Correllus in 2010.

Blackwell, the preseason A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year, is the anchor of the FGCU defense that allowed just 14 goals this season and only two to A-Sun opponents during the regular season. The Jenks, Okla. native is consistently asked to mark the top offensive threat of the opposition for a defense that has shutout 10 opponents. She has started all 21 matches and left just one with an injury, otherwise playing every minute of every match for a total of 1,824. She picked up her first point of the season in the form of an assist at home against CSU Bakersfield. She scored her first goal against Palm Beach Atlantic on a shot that she fired from approximately 40 yards outside the goal mouth. Her three points from the back line matched her 2013 season total.

Kasun is the field general for the FGCU women's soccer program. She is constantly described by head coach Jim Blankenship as the engine that makes the team go. The Lancaster, Pa. native assumed a less offensive role this season as the defensive midfielder but that did not stopped her from lighting up the scoreboard, especially late in the season with six of her nine points coming against A-Sun opponents. After handing out an assist in the A-Sun opener against UNF, Kasun exploded for two goals against Northern Kentucky then assisted a goal against JU. She would add a goal and assist against Palm Beach Atlantic before helping hold Stetson scoreless over 99 minutes in a match that clinched the Eagles an unblemished record in A-Sun play. The NSCAA recognition is the third in Kasun's career.

Coming off of the greatest season in program history, the FGCU women's soccer team has been honored for its successes in the classroom as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America last week recognized the program with an NSCAA Team Academic Award.

The award was for the 2013-14 academic year as each November NSCAA officials recognize college soccer programs that have excelled in the classroom in the previous season, in addition to their work on the field.

The Eagles were one of 593 women's programs throughout all levels of college soccer (Division I, II and III) which received the award. To qualify, a team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players. Furthermore, FGCU was one of 206 schools which had both their men's and women's programs recognized.

The magical, record-shattering 2014 season saw Green and Blue win a program record 17 games. After dropping a 2-0 result to No. 16 South Carolina on Sept. 14 on a neutral field, the Eagles won a program record 13 consecutive matches, outscoring their opponents 36-6 with seven shutouts, including a 15-2 advantage against A-Sun competition during the regular season. The Eagles are now 7-0-1 all-time in the A-Sun Tournament and 3-0-1 in the Championship match. The Eagles have outscored opponents in the A-Sun Final, 5-1, and have outshot the opposition 80-33. FGCU advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time and for the first time in program and school history, hosted an NCAA Tournament match.

The Eagles matched their own A-Sun record, set a season ago, with six individuals named to the A-Sun All-Conference First Team. Alongside Player of the Year Tabby Tindell (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic HS) and Defensive Player of the Year Emma Blackwell (Jenks, Okla./Jenks HS), Brittany Brown (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena HS), Paulina Speckmaier (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep/Florida), Ally Kasun (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield HS) and Shannen Wacker all received recognition on the A-Sun First Team. Melissa Arnold (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek Regional HS) was the lone FGCU representative on the Second Team, giving the Green and Blue a league-best seven honorees.

NSCAA Southeast Region First Team
GK - Kailen Sheridan - So. - Clemson
D - Kristen Grubka - Sr. - Florida State
D - Satara Murray - Sr. - North Carolina
D - Emily Sonnett - Jr. - Virginia
M - Morgan Brian - Sr. - Virginia
M - Dagny Brynjarsdottir - Sr. - Florida State
M - Danielle Colaprico - Sr. - Virginia
M - Stephanie DeVita - Jr. - Furman
F - Makenzy Doniak - Jr. - Virginia
F - Murielle Tiernan - So. - Virginia Tech
F - Cheyna Williams - Jr. - Florida State

Second Team
GK - Holly Van Noord - So. Liberty
D - Emma Blackwell - Jr. - FGCU
D - Katie Bowen - Jr. - North Carolina
D - Katie Naughton - Jr. - Notre Dame
M - Brittany Aanderud - Jr. - Liberty
M - Ashley Meier - Jr. - Virginia Tech
M - Cari Rocarro - Jr. - Notre Dame
M - Sarah Zadrazil - Jr. - East Tennessee State
F - Hayley Dowd - Jr. - Boston College
F - Stephanie McCaffrey - Sr. - Boston College
F - Tabby Tindell - So. - FGCU

Third Team
GK - Cassie Miller - Fr. - Florida State
D - Anna Allen - So. - Samford
D - Jordan Coburn - Jr. - Virginia Tech
D - Alise LeCompte - Sr. - High Point
M - Candace Cephers - So. - Virginia Tech
M - Lauren Gassie - Sr. - Mercer
M - Ally Kasun - Jr. - FGCU
M - Jenny Marshall - So. - High Point
F - Wadisha Blackman - Sr. - Mercer
F - Malcanisha Kelley - So. - Samford
F - Kacey Kelly - Sr. - Coastal Carolina