Sept. 22, 2002
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic lost another close game Sunday night as the Owls fell to in-state rival South Florida 4-2. Kristoffer Aarskog had a goal and an assist and led the team with four shots but it was not enough to get the win for FAU.
FAU (1-5-1) got going early on in the match when in the eighth minute Scott Rauscher passed the ball to the middle of the field to an open Josh Garbee. Garbee in turn lobbed the ball into the box where Aarskog leaped over his defender and headed the ball to the back of the net for a 1-0 lead and his third goal of the season.
The Owls played great soccer afterwards, making crisp passes and working as a team defending the ball. Midway through the half though injures began to take their toll on FAU. Defenders Mike Rubin and Ryan Lockett both injured their knees and were forced to leave the game. Lockett returned later in the half but Rubin did not. Coach Donev then had to mix up the defense and make adjustments due to the injuries.
"It was good to see that we built up a little bit of a rhythm and posses the ball as a team," said Head Coach Kos Donev. "I think that what hurt us is two things. Losing players in a game is tough, especially out of the back just like last game we played. When we lost Michael Rubin on the left side it meant we had to put a new player in and it takes a little longer [for them] to get used to the game. Then Ryan has to come out and we have two new defenders instead of the same three guys who are used to playing together.
"The next thing that hurt us obviously is we are not able to play possesional soccer for 90 minutes versus them doing it. We end up chasing and defending most of the second half and that gets us tired and all of a sudden it opens up things."
The Bulls (6-1) scored two nice goals at the end of the half, the first coming when Kevin Cowan hit the post with a shot and Gabriel Salgado put the rebound into the net to tie the score at 1-1. Minutes later Cowan sent a 40 yard pass into the box where Hunter West headed the ball past keeper Alex Figuero to take the lead 2-1.
USF took control in the second half as they scored almost immediately at the start. Salgado took the ensuing corning kick and put it right to the head of Aaron Ortega who struck it into the goal for a 3-1 lead.
With five minutes to play the Owls made a run as Aarskog headed a wild ball to the feet of Bjorn Totland. Totland lined the shot up and hit a low liner past keeper Troy Perkins to bring FAU within one. But a minute later Gabriel Salgado struck again as he hit a low driven shot in and out of Figuero's hands that rolled past him in the goal to put the game out of reach.
Florida Atlantic travels to Miami, FL to play in the Miami Tournament against West Virginia on Friday, September 27th at 4:30 pm. The Owls start a three game home stand against in-state conference rival Central Florida Saturday, October 5th at 7:30 pm.