Sept. 29, 2002
Miami, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University won the 2002 Umbro Classic in a sensational game over #22 ranked Columbia 4-3 in which Josh Garbee scored on a penalty kick with ten minutes remaining in the game to win it for the Owls. Bjorn Masson was voted the Offensive Player of the tournament as the junior scored three goals and assisted on another in the tournament.
The Owls took a command in the first half as Ran Poliker headed in a cross pass from Masson in the eighth minute of play to start FAU (3-5-1) on the right foot and put them up 1-0. Three minutes later, Scott Rauscher passed the ball to Gustavo Alencar, who with some fancy footwork, put the ball past Lion keeper Ben Weisberg for the 2-0 lead.
FAU's defense held Columbia (4-2) to four shots on goal the first half and no corner kicks. The second half though the Owls began to falter. Three minutes into the second period, John Mycroft pushed a shot past keeper Torbjorn Hompland off of a cross from Thorsteinn Gestsson to cut the lead in half.
Midway in the period Alejandro Berthe-Suarez scored as he slid past the defense off of a free kick by Tommy McMenemy and put the ball just past the goal line to tie the game 2-2. Not even a minute later McMenemy sent a corner kick into the box to the head of Gestsson who put the ball into the back of the net to take the lead 3-2.
FAU would mount a comeback as F David Rutherford redirected a rebound shot from Fredrik Stenrud to tie the game 3-3 in the 75th minute. Five minutes later the Lions' Brent Chudoba was called for a foul in the box setting up Garbee's game-winning goal.
"We showed a lot of character to be able to comeback so late in the game to a team of this caliber," said Head Coach Kos Donev. "We have some work to do though, because in both games we were up and in both games those teams were able to come back on us. We played a tremendous game and hopefully our confidence will be stronger after we defeated these two great teams."
Florida Atlantic won the round-robin tournament by goal margin as the Owls put on an offensive display with eight goals in two games as the team went 2-0. FIU went 2-0 as well but only scored four goals in their two games.
Hompland, playing in his second straight game, saved five shots and allowed three goals. Bjorn Totland also recorded his fifth assist on the year to lead the team in that category. The Owls out shot the Lions 13-12 but had one less corner kick as Columbia led in that department 2-1.
Florida Atlantic returns home to play UCF Saturday, October 5th at 7:30 for an intense conference match.
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