FORT MYERS, Fla. - No. 1 FGCU captured it's fifth ASUN Conference Women's Soccer Championship title after a 2-0 victory against Lipscomb on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles will play in their third-straight NCAA Tournament next weekend.
The majority of the first half remained stagnant offensively as both teams battled for possession. There were multiple scoring opportunities created, with the Eagles and Bisons coming up with dangerous chances in the early stages. FGCU's defense stepped up to allow only two shots on goal, as All-Freshman selection Melissa Weck grabbed two saves in the first half off shots sent from Ellen Lundy and Maycie McKay. Second Team All-Conference member McKay attempted to send in a header that was batted down by Weck in the third minute. Junior powerhouse Ellen Lundy took off on a one-on-one but could not materialize a goal.
In the 33rd minute, FGCU scored the opening goal of the match off a set piece when Meaghan Mulligan sent a corner into the box, where senior Ali Rogers connected with a bullet header into the bottom right corner to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Mulligan's assist brings her season total to ten. Her double digit assist record ranks first in the ASUN, and now ties for third place in program history. Rogers' two goals garnered her the ASUN CHampionship MVP Honor.
Two-time ASUN All-Tournament Paulina Speckmaier teamed up with Tori Dorr in an attempt to capitalize on a corner kick late in the half. Dorr connected with the set piece, but her shot rocked the post, while Speckmaier's follow up sailed over the crossbar. That lead stood up at halftime as neither side was able to find the back of the net the rest of the half.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with both defenses on top. The Eagles looked to connect some more passes playing with the wind at their back. Lipscomb's best scoring opportunity fell to Lundy as she arrived at the far post, but her one-time volley went over the net.
Another set piece provided some insurance for the Eagles in the 80th minute. A corner kick was not cleared by the Bisons defense and the ball rolled to Rogers on the edge of the box and she struck the loose ball into the top right corner for the 2-0 lead. Lipscomb goalie and ASUN Goalkeeper of the Year Anna Buhigas wrapped up the match with seven saves. FGCU saw a 19-6 shot advantage, with nine of those shots on goal.
This is the Eagles third consecutive Championship title, and the fifth in program history. FGCU's win ultimately secured an automatic bid to the Division I NCAA College Cup. This marks FGCU's fifth NCCA Tournament appearance in six years. The Eagles will learn of their postseason selection matchup on Monday, Nov. 7 at 4:30 streamed live on NCAA.com.
2016 ASUN Women's Soccer All-Tournament Team
Ali Rogers, FGCU - Championship MVP
Ashley Parks, FGCU
Paulina Speckmaier, FGCU
Tabby Tindell, FGCU
Kim Fincher, Kennesaw State
Carly Pressgrove, Kennesaw State
Ellen Lundy - Lipscomb
Brooke Brenner - Lipscomb
Niamh Rawlins - Lipscomb
Emily Plotz, Stetson
Riana Metzger, Stetson
FGCU vs. Lipscomb Championship Notes
- Lipscomb closes out the season with a record of 12-4-1, tying for the best finish in program history.
- Tabby Tindell earned her fourth-consecutive ASUN All-Tournament Honor.
- Sole scorer for FGCU, Ali Rogers ends the regular season with a career-high five goals.
- FGCU improves to 5-0-1 in ASUN Championship Final matches. The Eagles have never lost an ASUN Championship match sitting at 11-0-1 all time.
- Junior Meagan Mulligan now moves up to third place in program history with ten assists on the season. She is tied with fellow team member Tabby Tindell.
- The Eagles will be making the fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament in six years
- All-Freshman selection Melissa Weck earns her tenth shutout on the season, sitting atop the ASUN leaderboards. She ties Brittney Brown in second place for the single-season shutout record.