FAU advanced to its third A-Sun final in four years.
Nov. 7, 2003
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University's women's soccer team scored with 19 minutes remaining to defeat Georgia State 2-1 and advance to the finals of the 2003 Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer Championship. Lauren Lucena scored the game-winning goal, her second of the season, as the Lady Owls advanced to their third finals in four years.
"This was every bit of a difficult game as we expected," said head coach Brian Dooley. "It's the kind of game that we thrive in. All year long in these kind of games they have found a way to win, and today was one of those days."
Lucena, a senior from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, fought hard for the game's final goal. Kari Kaiser received the ball on the right wing and dribbled towards the corner, only to pass to Lucena at the top right of the box. She initially steps towards her left and fires a shot on goal that is partially blocked by the GSU defense. The ball soars into the air and over keeper Alexa Pasquarelli's head to give FAU the 2-1 lead.
"We battled hard, all through the last whistle," said Lucena, who is tied for second in game-winning goals all-time at FAU. "[Tomorrow] is another game that we have to play and play just like we did in this one; don't give up till the last whistle is blown."
FAU (16-5) got on the scoreboard first in the 30th minute. Denise Brolly's corner kick sailed to the far post over the GSU defense. Janine Aylward swung her leg for the kick and missed, but followed through with another kick to put past the keeper for her fifth goal of the season, tying a career high.
But GSU (16-6) responded quickly. The Lady Panthers sent a centering pass through the Lady Owls box that was cleared to Lauren Chavez. Chavez knocked the ball in for her ninth goal of the season and third goal in her last two games.
FAU outshot GSU 16-8 and held them to only three shots the second half. Molly Keating, A-Sun Second-Team, recorded three saves for her program record 16th win.
Florida Atlantic will face Central Florida Saturday at 7pm in the A-Sun Conference finals, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Owls last faced the Golden Knights September 19, with FAU winning 2-1. The team last faced UCF in the A-Sun finals in 2001, with the Central Florida winning 2-1.
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