FGCU Soccer makes ASUN tournament run together
LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s and women’s soccer teams were supposed to be playing in the Fall, but due to COVID-19, their seasons were pushed to the Spring.
Despite all of the adversity thrown at the teams, they are each two wins from the NCAA tournament.
The Eagles started their conference tournament run over the weekend with two games and two overtime game winners.
“It was one of my favorite experiences as a coach here, just to see how much the guys are willing to give,” FGCU men’s soccer head coach Jesse Cormier said.
In a season defined by adversity, the men came from behind against North Florida to tie the game with under five minutes to go, finishing the Ospreys off 5 to 3 in penalty kicks.
“I think the life lessons they learned was regardless of who is wearing the jersey it doesn’t really matter as long as they have each other‘s backs,” Coach Cormier said.
On the women’s side, the Eagles jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.
But would also head to overtime where birthday girl Alyssa Abbondandolo scored her second goal of the day to send the ladies, like the men, to the Atlantic Sun conference semifinals.
“We worked really hard this week honestly. We really wanted to win and to get back into the tournament and get that ring,” FGCU junior forward Alyssa Abbondandolo said.
The wins coming on the heels of a season unlike any other.
“It has been a roller coaster. I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” Coach Cormier said.
Which makes going on this unique ASUN tournament run together even more memorable.
“Both teams take great pride in what they do and how hard they work. So, you know, to reap the benefits of that and get a playoff game is ultimately the only thing you can ask for,” FGCU women’s soccer coach Jim Blankenship said.
Both teams play Thursday with the men in Jacksonville against Bellarmine and the women in Georgia against Kennesaw State.