Sept. 27, 2002
Miami, Fla. - Striking fast and often, Florida Atlantic defeated West Virginia 4-3 in the opening game of the 2002 Umbro Classic hosted by Florida International. Bjorn Masson exploded for three goals in the first half for the first hat trick since October 11, 2000 and Kristoffer Aarskog scored a goal and had an assist.
FAU (2-5-1) scored early when in the ninth minute of play Masson took a give and go from Gustavo Alencar and shot it past Mountaineer keeper Chris McKinney to make it 1-0. West Virginia (3-5) immediately responded a minute later as Devon McTavish headed the ball to Aaron Pitchkolan who kicked it past Owl keeper Torbjorn Hompland to tie the game at 1-1. The intense scoring continued as Masson scored one minute later off a quick pass from midfielder Preben Nilsen to put FAU back up 2-1.
In the 33rd minute of play Alencar set up another Owl goal when he chipped a ball over the defense and Aarskog beat his man to score his team-leading fourth goal of the season to increase FAU's lead and bring the score to 3-1. Mason finished off his scoring bonanza when he took a wall pass from Aarskog and pushed it past Mountaineer keeper McKinney for Florida Atlantic's fourth goal of the game.
After the half McKinney moved out of the net and into the forward position to lead a West Virginia comeback. He scored in the middle of the period to cut the lead to 4-2 and assisted on Pitchkolan's second goal of the game to make it 4-3 late in the half. The FAU defense though was able to hold down the Mountaineer attack for the rest of the game and preserve the victory.
Florida Atlantic goalie Torbjorn Hompland made his first career start for the Owls, saving two shots and allowing three goals. Masson already has eclipsed his goal total from last year (2) in eight games for the Owls this year.
FAU plays again Sunday, September 29th in the second game of the Umbro Classic against #22 ranked Columbia University at 12:00 pm in Miami, Fla. The Owls next home game is Saturday, October 5th versus in-state conference rival UCF at 7:30 pm.