The FGCU Eagles do not let age define them. The back-to-back A-Sun Champions lost five seniors from last year, but that is not going to slow them down.
“My philosophy immediately was that we were not going to build a program where we got some wins and then struggled the next season and then grabbed some wins and then struggled again,” said the Eagles’ Head Coach Jim Blankenship. “I found out quickly that we were able to attract high level players and keep a strong group every season.”
With seven freshmen on the squad this season and only one senior they are not losing momentum and only gaining more energy.
In the Eagles' match in the Atlantic Sun Championship semifinal a freshman had a hand in both goals as they defeated Mercer 2-0.
“Our freshmen have been phenomenal, we have high expectations and we are a driven group. We've been blessed to bring in new energy every year,” Blankenship said.
Tabby Tindell has been a spark in the Green and Blue’s lineup all season as she leads the A-Sun in scoring with 15 goals and 34 points.
“The team helped me a lot. It is hard to come in as a freshman, not living at home anymore but the team made me feel welcome,” Tindell explained. “When you feel comfortable around the group then you feel comfortable enough to play around them.”
Against Mercer, Tindell put away a gorgeous goal to give the Eagles the 2-0 advantage.
“I had a lot of anticipation all day. I was in my dorm filled with nerves.”
Nerves are to be expected especially out of the core of young players, but you’d never be able to tell by the flow of the game.
“You’re always going to feel the nerves before the game and those feelings will never go away but I like that feeling because it keeps me on my toes and gives me an edge,” Eagles’ freshman Tessa Berger said.
Berger contributed this season with three goals, three assists and nine points. Berger came in from Mahurangi East, New Zealand and took to the team rapidly.
“There is a great family environment here and I related well with that because I’m a Kiwi,” Berger said. “I was accepted immediately and have great support.”
The Eagles are playing in their third-straight A-Sun Championship final on Sunday against Jacksonville and they hope their fast-pace works to their advantage.
“We know facing Jacksonville will be hard,” Tindell mentioned “We know it will be a grind so we've set our expectations and now we just have to go out and play.”