Oct. 31, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team sent five members out with a victory at Senior Day on Thursday as the Owls beat UAB 2-0 at the FAU Soccer Stadium.
"It was a great night for our seniors, our team and the program overall," FAU Head Coach Patrick Baker said. "We prepared very well for an extremely talented UAB squad and we are happy our seniors walked off the field for the last time victorious. UAB has had one of the best turnarounds in Division I soccer this fall and we had our hands full the entire 90 minutes."
Senior goalkeeper Courtney Zwetsch earned her tenth-career shutout as she made three saves en route to her 12th career victory. The FAU defense did not allow the Blazers to take a shot on goal in the second half of the contest.
Sophomore Gabriella Sosa scored her first career goal in the 42nd minute to put the Owls on top 1-0. After a deflection on a corner kick, Olivia Mbala found Sosa who placed it perfectly into the left corner of the net, just past the reach of UAB goalkeeper Courtnie Northern.
"Scoring the first goal of the game was important and I was excited to see Gabi find the back of the net," Baker said. "Courtney made a tremendous save early in the game and that was key moment that swung our way."
FAU mustered two shots early in the second half, one of which rocketed off the crossbar off the foot of Claire Emslie. The sophomore made up for that miss in the 80th minute when she sped past the Blazers defense and fired a shot into the bottom left corner for her seventh goal of the season.
"The insurance goal was of the highest quality by Claire," Baker said. "She picked up the ball at midfield, turned and ran at two defenders. At full speed she cut the initial defender and then drove a left footed ball from 25 yards that flew into the back of the net. Tremendous individual effort and proved why she is such a talented attacking player."
The Blazers took only three shots in the second half, all of which came in the final eleven minutes, but were unable to score.
Despite the victory, the Owls' season came to an end as FAU failed to qualify for the Conference USA Tournament. FAU needed help from two other teams, but Marshall topped FIU to take the final qualifying position. The Owls defeated three of the qualifying teams in the East Division and lost to the other two by only one-goal margins.
Coach Baker recognized the seniors' efforts with the following statement:
"I want to thank Lauren Berlingo, Lindsey Rice, Brittney Nash, Marisa Russo and Courtney Zwetsch for representing FAU the way they have over their careers here. We wish we were headed to the Conference USA Tournament, but unfortunately came up a little short this year. They have all been instrumental in helping change the complexion of the program and we will miss them dearly."