NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A gamewinning goal in the 106th minute completed a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind victory Sunday afternoon for Florida Gulf Coast University over Lipscomb, sending the FGCU women's …
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A gamewinning goal in the 106th minute completed a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind victory Sunday afternoon for Florida Gulf Coast University over Lipscomb, sending the FGCU women's soccer team to its sixth NCAA Tournament in seven years. The Eagles (14-3-1) fell behind 2-0 to the Bisons (9-7-3) but stormed back with two goals in the second half before the gamewinner in the second overtime period to become the first ASUN program to reach four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Note: FGCS will play South Florida on November 11 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
FGCU nearly had a winner in the 80th minute following a cleared corner. Fritz's service was cleared away but only as far as Parks who picked out a wide-open Lindsey Patton (Jacksonville, Fla./Oakleaf HS). The sophomore headed it toward the far post where Mason made a sprawling save to keep the match at 2-2.
"It wasn't easy but sometimes that makes it feel even better," said head coach Jim Blankenship following his program's 13th ASUN Tournament match victory. "I'm proud of our guys. It wasn't the start we wanted but we talked a lot about trust at halftime and staying within the system. I challenged them by saying this was the first team to have to go on the road, so let's be the first to come back. Our character and mentality were phenomenal tonight."
Trailing 2-0, Holly Fritz (Cape Coral, Fla./Mariner HS/Florida State) pulled one back before Camille Knudstrup (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins HS) leveled the match 74 minutes in. With less than five minutes remaining in the second overtime, forward Varin Ness (Sogndal, Norway/Sogndal VidaregÂande Skule/Carson Newman) gathered a long ball from Ashley Parks (St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette HS) and put away her eighth goal of the season and her fourth match-winner.
The instant classic witnessed FGCU outshoot the Bisons 23-11 and both teams combine for 35 fouls.
The Eagles will find out their opponent in the 2017 NCAA Tournament tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. during the selection show.