The Press Newspaper
Soccer star Ciesielczyk named ‘Primetime Performer’
Ciesielczyk helped the Eagles win their third straight Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title this past weekend with her play against Kennesaw State and Mercer. Part of a backline that posted two shutouts and allowed just 10 shots, Ciesielczyk also recorded an assist on the game-winning goal against Mercer, which clinched the Eagles’ third A-Sun crown and No. 1 seed and host duties for 2012 A-Sun Tournament
The Eagles won the conference regular season title with 22 points (12-3-3, 7-1-1) over Mercer who finished with 20 points (12-4-3, 6-1-2).
The assist was the 28th of Ciesielczyk’s career, adding to her already program record and ranking her tied for seventh all-time in the A-Sun. Her 28 assists help her rank fourth all-time in FGCU with 40 points.
The award for Ciesielczyk marks the third time an FGCU women’s soccer player has been honored by College Soccer 360 after sophomore Shannen Wacker (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa HS) and former goalkeeper and current volunteer assistant Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) made the list last year.
Selection for the CS360 weekly awards is based on any/all of the following "primetime" criteria:
Must have been playing in a game involving a top-50 team from the CS360 Composite National Rankings (or in a game involving a preseason conference favorite/leader), or performed at a high level in a game that is key to the team's postseason qualification/participation.
In general, preference is given based on the quality of the opponent and situational factors involved in the player's accomplishments.
Exhibited strong leadership and/or involved in clutch performances, such as game-winning goals, noteworthy comebacks, late scores, momentum-shifting play, team spirit, etc.
Overcame adversity or extreme circumstances (for the team and/or individual).
Bonus consideration is given for key performances away from team's home field.
The Green and Blue will face the winner of the ETSU/Jacksonville matchup in the semifinals of the A-Sun Tournament Nov. 2. After improving their record to 12-3-3 last week, the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s soccer team is ranked 10th in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire Southeast Regional Ranking, announced Tuesday.
This marks the second time this season and also in program history that the Eagles have been ranked in the Southeast Regional poll. In the five-year history of the program, the Green and Blue have received votes on three occasions.
FGCU went 2-0 last week with wins over Kennesaw State and Mercer to claim the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title for the third straight year.
In her fourth trip to the state tournament, LaFountain opened with a 7-6, 6-2 victory over Tipp City Tippecanoe junior Sierra Nellessen, but lost to eventual championship consolation winner Rachel Nelson, a senior from Millersburg West Holmes, 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
“Ashley will graduate as the most decorated girls’ tennis player in Oak Harbor High School history. What an incredible high school career,” wrote athletic director Drew Grahl in one of his community emails.
LaFountain comes from a tennis family. Her father, Rick, has coached for 25 seasons, and her brother, Greg, holds the boys career record for victories and was a regional finalist in his senior season.
Currently, Rick works as a government teacher at Fremont Ross High School and Greg is a sophomore at the University of Toledo, majoring in pharmacy and maintaining a 3.8 GPA.
LaFountain has been hitting ground strokes, and sometime playing competitively, with both for years, and needless to say, it’s helped make her the player she is today.
“Tennis for my brother and I was our life from a young age,” she said. “(brother Greg and I) would hit six to seven days per week with our dad whenever we could find a court. Going out to the courts and hitting with our dad was a way to bond with him. A lot of times we would fight out on the court, but even today, I wouldn’t change a thing because it all made me who I am today.”
LaFountain also benefited from another coach, the late Pat Ortner, a pro at Baywinds Athletic Club in Sandusky. Another of Ortner’s proteges, Amy Schlessman, a 2009 graduate of Perkins High School, won the SBC tennis title four consecutive years just like LaFountain did, a testament to his guidance.
“Pat was a huge influence on my game,” LaFountain said. “I could talk to him about anything, and he would have an answer for me. He taught me tennis in a way that made it really simple. Whatever problem you were having with your game, he could pick out what you were doing wrong even if it was as small as lining up your foot at the wrong angle on a serve.”
Sadly, Ortner, who was 43, passed away in February 2010 from a heart attack.
“Ever since his death, a lot of the Baywinds members have fallen out of touch,” Lafountain said. “He was the glue that kept everyone together. I really miss Pat, and hopefully this year I can honor his memory by going out swinging for my senior year.” (— Press writer Yaneek Smith contributed)