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Eckerd Looks to Playoffs after FGCU

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Eckerd Looks to Playoffs after FGCU

Photo courtesy of Mike Geibel

Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's game, Eckerd clinched the DII Florida conference last week with a 57-5 win against FAU and will move on to the DII playoffs.

But, they will still be tested once more by FGCU before they can claim an undefeated conference season.

"We've had a lot of success against them in the past few years," Eckerd Coach Mike Geibel said. "At our away match a few weeks ago at Florida Gulf Coast, they actually put up a good fight. We had some players missing due to injury, and it was actually really close."

Geibel is expecting a hot streak from many of his players going into the playoffs. This game will be an opportunity for Eckerd key players like outside centers/fullbacks Colleen Owens and Kat Scheerer and forward utility player Ally Gallagher to hone in on their technical skills and execute great phase work. However, injury prevention is Geibel's main concern. In order to secure the DII championship, Eckerd will need to have the entirety of their team ready to play. As of now, most of Eckerd is injury free, which will challenge FGCU more if that was truly the reason for the previous close score.

FGCU's powerful forwards will be the biggest pot hole for Eckerd in the road to playoffs. Eckerd's size doesn't compare to FGCU's and stopping their progression on defense while be the more significant challenge. Yet, FGCU lacks the speed Eckerd has. Owens and Scheerer have a sum of about 80 points between them so far, and FGCU's defense will need to communicate and launch effectively in order to stop Eckerd's backline speed.

"At times we can get a little bit disorganized in our offensive attack," Geibel said. "We have a specific plans, and our motto all year has been 'do the same thing every time' in terms of executing our plays and executing what we want to do. And, there are times when we get a little flustered and out of sorts. We just need to tighten that up, and we'll be able to do that."

Tomorrow will also be Eckerd's senior night, and with the exception of Owens, each of the 10 seniors has been playing for at least four years. The urge to go out for their last conference game to secure an undefeated season will also be an aspect FGCU will have to overcome. Just because Eckerd is secured in the playoffs, doesn't mean they will play any less aggressively.