Women’s soccer announces 2022 schedule

FORT MYERS, Florida. – The FGCU women’s soccer team has unveiled its 2022 schedule as the team prepares for another ASUN Championship title run. The Eagles, under the direction of the head coach Jim Blankenshipwill play a tough non-conference schedule before heading into league play.

The schedule features six games against RPI’s top 100 teams from a year ago, including defending national champion Florida State Seminoles. The Eagles will also face three ASUN teams they have never played against before, freshman members Queens (NC) and Austin Peay as well as Central Arkansas, which is in its second year.

“We are excited for the upcoming season,” Blankenship said. “There are a lot of home rockets in our non-conference schedule with some of the top teams in Florida. We have a lot of newcomers to our team and the tough schedule we’re facing early on will really help us prepare for the ASUN season so that we are looking for another championship.”

Before the regular season kicks off, the Eagles will play two exhibition games, the first being on the road in Miami on August 6.e before having a home tune-up against Florida Tech on August 12e.

The competition gets real on August 18e when they open the season at home against Detroit Mercy before hitting the road for a Sunday night game in Tampa against South Florida on August 21. The Bulls finished 32n/a in the RPI a season ago and made the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season.

The Eagles return home on August 25e to face the Southern University Jaguars for the first time in program history before traveling to Orlando on August 28 to face state rival UCF for the sixth time, but the first since 2016.

After the Knights, there are three games left against enemies of the state before the start of the ASUN season with two home games against FAU and FIU on September 4 and 11.e sandwiched around a road game against defending national champions Florida State on September 8e.

The conference season begins with two road competitions for the Greens and Blues as they travel to ASUN newcomer Queens on September 15.e before facing Liberty in Lynchburg on September 18e.

Back home September 22n/athe Eagles will face the UNF before facing Jacksonville on the 25the at Pickering Field.

The Eagles will then start October with three away games – Stetson on 2n/aEastern Kentucky on the 6eand Bellarmine on 9e – before wrapping up the regular season with three straight home games. The home stretch begins October 13e against defending champion ASUN Lipscomb before facing Austin Peay on the 16the. The regular season finale is Oct. 22 when the Eagles host Central Arkansas for Senior Day.

ASUN tournament kicks off on October 27e at the higher seed campus.

The Eagles will have plenty of newcomers to the squad this year, but will return with a talented core, led by reigning ASUN Player of the Year Louise Lillback. FGCU also returns All-ASUN selections Lea Scarpelli and Ashley Labbe as well as goalkeeper Katie Sullivanwho allowed just 0.49 goals per game last season against ASUN competition.

For complete coverage of FGCU women’s soccer, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_WSoccer and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to receive news about FGCU women’s soccer or other programs straight to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

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A veteran of more than two decades in collegiate coaching, head coach Jim Blankenship, who was named ASUN Coach of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019, has made FGCU women’s football an annual ASUN Conference contender and a growing program in the Southern Region in just 13 seasons. Blankenship started the program in 2007 and has since guided the Eagles to 13 double-digit winning seasons, culminating in ASUN Regular Season Championships in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. 2011 and 2012, he also led the Eagles to back-to-back ASUN Tournament titles by becoming the first team in college history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles won the 2014 ASUN Tournament and hosted the first NCAA Championship event on campus. The Eagles earned their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance with the 2015 ASUN Tournament Championship and won their first NCAA game at USF in 2015 while finishing 24th in the nation. In 2016, the Eagles made three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament with a third straight ASUN Tournament title. A year later, the Eagles became the first ASUN women’s soccer program to host four consecutive NCAA tournaments with another tournament title in 2017. Blankenship guided the FGCU to an overall record of 184-69-27 (. 705) in the first 15 seasons of the program’s existence, including a 93-19-15 (.791) mark in ASUN. Blankenship’s impressive career record of 424-140-38 (.736) over 31 seasons came while coaching FGCU, University of Miami, Lynn University and St. Thomas University.

FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles have brought together 43 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (#20, 2021) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone achieved, with all 15 programs achieving a team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

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