Sept. 21, 2012
Troy, AL - A pair of second-half goals propelled the Florida Atlantic University women’s soccer team to a 2-0 road triumph over Troy University in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams.
FAU improves to 3-5 on the season and 1-0 in league play. Troy falls to 5-5-1 and 0-1 in SBC action.
“The girls gave great effort today to win a road conference game,” said Brian Dooley, FAU’s head women’s soccer coach. “It is always good to start off conference play with a victory. Being that it was a road win makes the result even more important.”
Both of FAU’s goals were scored by freshmen, including forward Natalia Hernandez’s first career tally to break the scoreless match in the 65th minute. A few minutes later, reigning Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week Claire Emslie tallied her fifth goal of the season to give the Owls an insurance goal.
Emslie has now scored four goals in the last two matches.
Senior goalkeeper Ashley Lantes anchored a stingy defensive effort to record the team’s first shutout of the season. The Clermont, Fla. native made six saves in posting her ninth shutout of her career.
Both teams battled to an even first half before Hernandez found the back of the net. The Wellington native got behind the Trojans’ defense. After her initial shot was stopped by the goalkeeper, Hernandez stayed with the play to score on the rebound.
The offense didn’t waste much time in putting more distance between the hosts. In the 75th minute, Emslie fired a shot from the right side after sneaking past the defense. Junior forward Brittney Nash provided her fourth assist of the season to set up the scoring chance.
“We stood strong when we got the lead,” said Dooley. “The defense did not allow many scoring chances after getting the second goal. It was nice to see the defense post the shutout.”
Emslie and Nash paced the 12-shot offensive attack with three shots each. Hernandez recorded two shots, while freshmen Taylor Sorrels, Gabriela Sosa, Haleigh Stremanos and junior Ellie Smith rounded out the offense with one shot apiece.
The Owls return to the pitch on Sunday, September 23, at 2 p.m. when they battle the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Live statistics of the match can be found at www.fausports.com.