FT. MYERS, Fla. ( School Release)- In an intense and hotly contested Atlantic Sun Championship title match, the Mercer women's soccer team walked away from the FGCU soccer complex with a loss for the second-straight year; falling to Florida Gulf Coast, 1-0 on Sunday.
In a rematch of last season's championship match, the upset-minded Bears again pushed the Eagles to overtime. In the 93rd minute, the Bears defense failed to corral a loose ball at the top of the box and FGCU's Ally Kasun hit a one-timer into the upper far corner for the game-winner.
Kasun had the game-winner two weeks ago when these same two teams met for the regular season championship. Mercer was making its fifth trip to the championship game in the last six seasons and its third-straight title game, making them the third team in A-Sun history to achieve that mark.
The Bears came out a bit tight allowing FGCU to take the upper hand early in the first half. Freshman goalkeeper Maggie Cropp was forced to make four quality first half saves as the Bears midfield and defense settled into the match.
After diffusing the early FGCU threat, the Bears defense stiffened up, but couldn't find the open feet to counter offensively and the teams walked into halftime tied, 0-0.
The second half Mercer found a little of its offensive rhythm and was able to get FGCU on its heels as the game went on. Perhaps the Bears best chance came in the 82nd minute when sophomore Tess Patton guided an open shot just high from eight yards out.