A new week, a new name for our soccer blog … welcome to Extra Time! If we aren’t covering an angle that needs more light, let us know. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media sites (Twitter.com/AtlanticSun & Facebook.com/AtlanticSunConference) as well.
Sunshine State Surge
The A-Sun’s four Florida teams posted a combined 8-0-0 record and now occupy the top-four spots in the conference standings. The team’s outscored their opposition (Kennesaw State, Mercer, ETSU & USC Upstate) 24-3 in the eight wins. Let’s take a closer look at each team …
FGCU Soars to Top of Standings
The Eagles swept Mercer and Kennesaw State in a pair of thrilling 1-0 decisions to climb into a tie with Jacksonville for the league lead with 13 points. With the sweep, the fourth-year program nearly broke into the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com regional rankings, joining NC State as others receiving votes. Senior Lindsay Haw scored the game-winner in both matches while the defense led by KC Correlus allowed just eight shots this weekend. The Eagles have surrendered just one goal in conference play and none in the last 281 minutes of action.
JU Makes Their Case
Jacksonville claimed its share of the league lead by dispatching ETSU and USC Upstate this weekend. The Dolphins are 5-1-1 in their last seven matches with the only set-back being a 1-0 loss to Mercer. The offense erupted on Senior Weekend with eight goals, but it was junior Liz Fink who was the big gun, netting three herself.
UNF Aiming for First Postseason Appearance
UNF took a big step towards securing the program’s first A-Sun Championship appearance after shutting out ETSU and USC Upstate. The team’s rigorous non-conference schedule seems to have prepared them well for A-Sun play. Lauren Hopfensberger is making a strong case for Freshman of the Year honors in the conference, scoring four more goals this weekend to push her league-leading total to seven. The Ospreys 4-2-0 start in conference play is the team’s best since joining the A-Sun.
Stetson Offense Firing on All Cylinders
After scoring just 13 goals in the team’s first 10 matches, Stetson exploded for 13 goals over its last three to help the team vault into a tie for fourth place in the standings. For the first time since Kennesaw State joined the league in 2005, the Hatters swept the conference weekend against the Owls and Mercer. Player of the Year candidate Tessa Gavilsky scored three goals and added an assist, running her league leading point total to 19.
Don’t Forget the Camels
While the Sunshine Four were making big moves this weekend, Campbell made a statement of their own, blanking Belmont and Lipscomb to work their way back into the postseason hunt.
“We played well. I thought we played a better second half, but I thought we did okay in the first as well. We’re really starting to find our rhythm. Any weekend you can come away with two wins is a good weekend so I’m very, very happy for the girls and excited for, hopefully, the position this puts us in to make the conference tournament. That’s our goal and the win puts us one step closer. I just think our dangerous players are starting to get more and more confidence. These are players that I’ve watched for a couple of years and always thought they’ve been amazing players. Lauren’s playing absolutely fantastic right now and things are starting to come together for us. It’s a good weekend; we’re going to enjoy it.”
Linda Hamilton – UNF Head Coach