Sept. 16, 2012
Boca Raton, FL -Three goals by freshman midfielder Claire Emslie, including the game-winner in the final minutes, helped lead the Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team to a 4-3 victory over UAB on Sunday afternoon at the FAU Soccer Stadium.
The victory snapped a three-match losing streak and propels the Owls into Sun Belt Conference play with a 2-5 record. UAB fell to 1-7 on the season.
Emslie, a freshman from Scotland and a former captain of several Scottish youth national teams, became the first FAU women's soccer player to record a hat trick in seven seasons. Two goals were recorded in the first 41 minutes of the match, and the final tally came with just over two minutes left in regulation to break a 3-3 tie.
The game-winning effort resulted from a right crossing pass from junior forward Brittney Nash. The ball sailed into the six-yard box, where Emslie headed the ball towards the lower right corner of the net. The score marked her second game-winning goal of the season.
"I knew that there wasn't much time left in the match. When Brittney got the ball, I knew that she was going to cross it, so I just found my way into the box," said Emslie. "I'm known for not scoring on headers, but I managed to time it right. I couldn't believe it when I saw it hit the back of the net."
Emslie's first goal of the match came on a penalty kick goal in the 25th minute. She drilled the shot to the lower right corner past diving UAB goalkeeper Courtnie Northern.
Then, Emslie gave the Owls a 2-0 advantage with a goal in the 41st minute. Freshman forward Haleigh Stremanos set up the scoring chance with a pass to the edge of the right side of the box. Emslie capped the effort by finding the upper left corner of the net from 10 yards out.
"Claire has always been around the goal this season," said Brian Dooley, FAU's women's soccer coach. "Today, she was able to finish on some of her scoring chances. Sometimes the penalty kick releases some pressure knowing that you got a goal. She has been working hard and today's performance is certainly well deserved."
Freshman defender Dani Dangremond gave FAU a 3-0 advantage with her first career goal off a free kick near midfield in the 60th minute of the match. She sent the kick towards the upper right post and over the Blazer goalkeeper.
However, UAB mounted a comeback with three second-half goals. Ashley Naumoff scored a goal in the 75th minute before the visitors' Isabel Shanteau and Emma Jane Smith scored within a 70-second span to tie the match at 3-3.
FAU held off the charge with Emslie's third goal of the match. The program's last hat trick was recorded by Tessa McGarrity against Troy University on October 15, 2006.
"I'm glad that we were able to pull out the victory," said Emslie, who leads the Owls with four goals this fall. "Everybody worked hard all week in practice preparing for this match. It is good to come out with the positive result."
Dooley added, "To regroup and score such a beautiful goal after surrendering the lead shows the character of this group . . . The offense is starting to come together. We scored two goals last week and today's four goals should help give us confidence going forward in the season."
The Owls set new season highs with four goals and 20 shots in the match, including nine shots on goal. Emslie paced the offensive attack with seven shots. Junior midfielder Marisa Russo, freshman forward Taylor Sorrels and Nash each recorded three shots in the victory.
Senior goalkeeper Ashley Lantes made four saves in net.
FAU opens SBC play on Friday, September 21, at Troy.