Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Atlantic Sun Insider Debuts Free Kicks

Atlantic Sun Conference women’s soccer picked up eight wins on the opening weekend of the 2010 season highlighted by a 2-0-0 start from preseason favorite Kennesaw State. The coaches and players expect big things this year on the field and fans can browse some of the top notes, videos and storylines of the season by following “Free Kick” the weekly blog on A-Sun women’s soccer. If you attend a match, this week send us a photo of you and your friends … we’ll get it posted here and on our Facebook page!

Nice Debut
Kennesaw State christened the top facility in the conference with a 6-0 shutout of Alabama A&M in the inaugural regular-season college match at the new KSU Soccer Stadium. Over 600 fans came out to cheer on the Owls.The $16.5 million facility opened on May 2 and served as the home to the Atlanta Beat of Women’s Professional Soccer as well as hosting the league’s annual All-Star Game. Here are some highlights from the All-Star Game ...

Nice Debut – Part Duex
It took Rachel Collins about 90 minutes to write her name into the USC Upstate record book. The freshman goalkeeper piled up 14 saves in her collegiate debut with the Spartans to match the school record. First-year head coach Renee Lopez started seven freshmen in the 3-0 loss to Charleston Southern.

Close Matches Lean in Our Favor
Half of the A-Sun matches played so far this season have been one-goal affairs and the conference holds a 5-3-0 mark so far. Two of the league’s best players provided late heroics to lift their teams to wins. Two-time A-Sun Player of the Year Tessa Gavilsky scored with less than four minutes to play in a 4-3 Stetson win against FAU while preseason Player of the Year Jessica Hurtado assisted Liz Fink on the game winner in overtime to carry Jacksonville past Furman, 3-2.

Dynamic Duo
Speaking of Gavilsky, the Stetson sports information staff has dubbed her and teammate Katie Bitteto as the “Dynamic Duo.” Hard to argue after the seniors combined for two goals and three assists in the Hatters’ win over FAU on opening night.

Video Growth
Programs around the conference are utilizing video to promote their teams and provide better scouting reports. A number of A-Sun matches will be broadcast live on ASun.TV throughout the year. However, Mercer took it a step further this weekend, posting highlights of the team’s 4-0 rout of in-state rival Georgia Southern. Way to go Bears!

Looking Ahead
Kennesaw State plays in one of the top regular-season tournaments of the season this weekend at the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic in Knoxville. The Owls face Richmond in the opener before squaring off with No. 14 Maryland on Sunday. The host Tennessee broke into the top-10 in the NSCAA Regional Rankings this week as well.

Worth Quoting
"Obviously, we're thrilled with how everything has turned out. The stadium is fantastic, and we're very excited. Already, we can see (the excitement) in the girls. We've raised the level here, and they're matching it with their work ethic and discipline."

Kennesaw State head coach Rob King on the KSU Soccer Stadium – courtesy The Marietta Daily Journal

Did we miss a highlight from last week?

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