FORT MYERS, Florida. – For the second time this season, second year Louise Lillback (Stockholm, Sweden / Tibble Gymnasium) was named ASUN Football Player of the Week.
Lillback scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Stetson on Saturday night in the regular season finale. Needing a win to land a berth in the ASUN tournament and seed in the Eastern Region, she came in when it mattered most.
“I’m proud of her,” said the head coach Jim blankenship. “Obviously, knowing that the situation was just a huge moment for us and our season and the leadership it showed was exceptional. The big players make big plays.”
She scored her first goal in the 19th minute, beating the Hatter keeper with the ball and passing it in front of her and in the net. Stetson tied the game with less than 20 minutes left in regulation, but in overtime, Lillback finished the game quickly with a goal just 42 seconds into extra period.
During the season, Lillback now has 12 goals, 16th in the nation. She also has five game-winning goals, which is in the top 10 in the country.
Lillback is also now third all-time in FGCU history with 26 goals and eighth with 56 points after her performance on Saturday.
Most career goals
|1.||66||Tindell tabby *||2013-16|
Most career points
|1.||162||Tindell tabby *||2013-16|
* ASUN record
This is the third time an Eagle has been named ASUN Player of the Week this season as a junior Alyssa Abbondandolo also won the honor earlier this year in addition to the two from Lillback.
Lillback and the rest of the Eagles are back in action this weekend when they host the first two rounds of the ASUN tournament. The quarter-finals are on Friday when the Eagles face Bellarmine at 7 p.m. ET.
ASUN weekly prices
Co-players of the week – Louise Lillback, FGCU and Rebekah Earnest, Liberty
Defensive Player of the Week – Shelby Craft, Lipscomb
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COACH JIM BLANKENSHIP
More than two decades of college coaching veteran, head coach Jim blankenship, who was named ASUN Coach of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019, made FGCU women’s football an annual ASUN conference candidate and a thriving program in the South region in just 13 seasons. Blankenship started the program in 2007 and has since guided the Eagles to 13 double-digit winning seasons, culminating with the ASUN Regular Season Championships in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. In 2011 and 2012, he also led the Eagles to back-to-back ASUN tournament titles, 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 won their fourth NCAA tournament appearance with the 2015 ASUN Tournament Championship and won their first NCAA game at USF in 2015 while finishing 24th nationally. In 2016, the Eagles made three consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament with a third straight ASUN tournament title. A year later, the Eagles became the first ASUN women’s football program to host four consecutive NCAA tournaments with another tournament title in 2017. Blankenship guided the FGCU to an overall record of 182-68-27 (. 706) in the first 15 seasons of the program’s existence, including a 91-18-15 (.794) mark in ASUN. Blankenship’s impressive career record of 422-139-38 (.736) over 31 seasons came as he led the FGCU, University of Miami, Lynn University and St. Thomas University.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 regular season conference and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Plus, in just ten seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles brought together 42 teams or individuals competing in the NCAA Championships. Eight FGCU programs placed in the top 25 in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (# 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (# 20, 2021) and men’s football (2018 , 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-2017, the Greens and Blues secured a sixth place, the best in the department, in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors Cup and a top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven ASUN and Florida State teams that won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall semester 2020 and outperformed the general undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone, with all 15 programs achieving a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also completed a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the NACDA’s First Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.