Oct. 18, 2013
Huntington, W. Va.- After 88 minutes of fierce play, senior Marisa Russo scored the game-winning goal to push the Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team to its first Conference USA victory Friday night over Marshall.
"We finally managed our first Conference USA win tonight against very talented Marshall team," FAU Head Coach Patrick Baker said. "They came out firing on all cylinders and it took us some time to find the game."
Despite being outshot 21-9 in the contest, the Owls (3-8-4, 1-2-3 C-USA) got on top first. FAU's leading scorer Claire Emslie drilled a shot from 20 yards out into the top right of the net in the 34th minute for her fourth goal of the season.
"At about the 20 minute mark we started to find feet and work our system a little bit," Baker said. "Claire scored a very good goal with about ten minutes left in the first half and that gave the group a much needed shot in the arm."
"We started the second half very well and had a number of corners, crosses and possessions in our final third," Baker said.
Senior goalkeeper Courtney Zwetsch withstood a barrage of shots in the first half of the match as the Herd (7-5-2, 2-3-1 C-USA) took 13 shots to FAU's two. She managed to hold Marshall scoreless until the 70th minute when Myka DeMarco scored her fifth goal of the year on an assist by Erin Simmons to even the score at 1-1.
With only seconds left in the contest, Amanda Odato's floated a corner kick into a pack of players from both teams. Russo found her way to the ball after a deflection and punched it in for what would be the game-winning goal. It marked the senior's fifth goal of her career and handed the Owls three critical points in the race for the Conference USA title.
"By no means was it pretty," Baker said. "But for what these young ladies have been through - just glad to see them enjoy a win."
The Owls stay on the road to face East Carolina on Sunday in Greenville, N.C. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.