Aug. 27, 2004
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University women's soccer scored early and late to win 3-0 over the University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday night, in the second game of the FAU/Double Tree Kick-Off Classic. Kari Fernandez scored the game-winning goal 16:12 into the game while Megan Coyne recorded her first career shutout in her first career start in goal.
"This was a very difficult game to play," said head coach Brian Dooley. They [Louisiana-Lafayette] really saw the field well, they knocked the ball around and they pushed forward. But we made a conscious decision to let them chase all over the field and we just waited to make our move."
The Lady Owls first move proved to be the winning move. Lisa Rife started the team out with a long pass down the left sideline to Christina Chang. Chang immediately took on her defender to the top left corner of the box before sending a cross through the box. The Cajun's defender nearly deflected the pass with her toe but the ball made it to Fernandez's feet who took two steps and fired a shot over the left shoulder of the keeper to make the score 1-0. Fernandez's last three goals, dating back to last season, have all been game-winners.
"The first goal meant a lot to me because I was getting yelled at by Dooley to take on my defender more," said Chang, who also scored a goal. "I got the ball and immediately took on my defender and sent the cross over to Kari who finished it up for me."
With the early lead, FAU's defense took over. The Lady Owls did not allow a shot in the first half and only allowed five in the game. Florida Atlantic's first test came in the 60th minute when a Louisiana-Lafayette free kick deflected off of the defensive wall. The ball skitted pasted the wall towards the left post but Coyne swooped in for the save. The sophomore from Marysville, WA recorded five saves for her first career victory.
"It felt pretty good to get the win tonight," said Coyne. "We've always been a solid defensive team and even though our focus has shifted more towards offense, we're [the defense] still focused all the way, and we proved that tonight."
FAU increased the lead to two when freshman Christie Ashton scored her first career goal. Meredith White set up the goal when she stole the ball from the Louisiana-Lafayette defense on the goal line and crossed towards the near post. Ashton one-timed the shot past the keeper and into the back of the net.
Florida Atlantic's final goal came in the 85th minute when Danielle DiLeo's corner kick sailed over traffic in front of the goal to Chang, who was sitting 10-yards out from the far post. Chang made a diving head shot that slipped under the keeper's arm to make the score 3-0.
FAU improved its record to 8-1 with six shutouts in the Kick-Off Classic. Northeastern defeated Jacksonville 3-0 in the first game of the FAU/Double Tree Kick-Off Classic.
FAU takes on Northeastern on Sunday, August 29 at 2 pm in the final game of the FAU/Double Tree Kick-Off Classic. Season ticket packages can be purchased before the season starts. Adult packages begin at $30 for 10 adult tickets while individual ticket prices will be $4 for adults and $2 for seniors/children. Call 866-FAU-OWLS for more information on how you can get tickets for the 2003 Lady Owls soccer season.