Conference play kicks off this week, so the race for the title starts Thursday. Send us pictures from you and your friends rooting on your favorite A-Sun soccer team this weekend! If you haven’t started following our social media sites (Twitter.com/AtlanticSun & Facebook.com/AtlanticSunConference), now is a good time to start.
Race for the Title Starts
The A-Sun covered the gambit in non-conference play with some teams starting out just as expected, others providing early surprises and a few slow starts. A rematch of last year’s title match between Kennesaw State and Belmont headlines Saturday’s play. Others to keep an eye on will be Lipscomb’s stingy defense hosting Kennesaw State and Mercer while JU welcomes Stetson and FGCU to campus. Like Jacksonville, UNF hosts the Hatters and Eagles this weekend. Tune into ASun.TV for the latest schedule of events airing on the conference’s webstreaming channel.
National Stats Debut
The NCAA released its first set of national statistics this week. Through September 12, the highlight is Stetson’s combo of Katie Bitetto and Tessa Gavilsky ranking 20th nationally with four assists.
Special Side Trip
The FGCU Eagles found themselves in New York City on September 11 and visited Ground Zero as a part of their trip to West Point for the Black Knights Classic. The FGCU Media Relations staff featured the visit on their website this week - Women's Soccer Gets Full New York City Experience [FGCUAthletics.com] .
Feast or Famine for Hatters
Senior Tessa Gavilsky leads the A-Sun in points (10) and assists (4) while ranking third in goals (3). However, her season has been a microcosm of the feast or famine situation for the Hatters on a whole. In Stetson’s three wins, they are averaging 3.0 goals per game but in their five losses, the team managed just two goals while surrendering five per game. Gavilsky has done the bulk of her damage in the wins (2 goals and 4 assists) but has been limited to just a single goal in the remaining contests.
Belmont Living on the Edge
One of the league’s preseason favorites, Belmont, started 1-6-0. Five of the team’s six losses have been by one goal including three in overtime. Last year, the Bruins went 4-4-0 in one-goal matches and recorded a 1-0-4 mark in overtime games.
Border Battle Success
USC Upstate picked up its first win of the season behind a stellar defensive effort, blanking Morehead State 1-0 despite being out-shot 27-2. Rachel Collins and Sarah Plantz combined in goal for the shutout. The Spartans lost their tournament finale, 1-0, to Chattanooga. Catherine Nolff, Courtney Mack and Ashleigh Barkley received All-Tournament honors at the Border Classic.
“What really hit home was when we went to the museum. It had amazing photographs and revealed to us how many people actually died, how many children lost a parent, and how many people risked their lives trying to help and save others. In all, the trip to New York was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. Going to the spot where the twin towers once stood is a lot different in person then just seeing images on the television at home. It was incredibly sad and hard to see the people around the site putting down flowers and balloons in memory of who they lost.”
Olivia Elias – FGCU Junior Midfielder on visit to Ground Zero