Aug. 10, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team's defensive unit returns three starters, and is blessed with the most experienced and athletic skilled players.
Those qualities have the Owls looking for improvement heading into the 2012 campaign.
In preparation for the upcoming season, FAUSports.com examines the defenders that be taking the field for the Owls this fall. The unit contributed to last year's three shutouts and six victories.
"There is great potential among this year's defensive group," said Brian Dooley, FAU's head women's soccer coach. He pointed out that assistant coach Staci Wilson, a defender on the United States' 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning team, has helped prepare the defenders for the season with a variety of on-field tactical strategies and physical conditioning techniques.
Leading this year's defensive effort will be senior Breanna Lewis, a three-year starter on the outside of the formation. The Leesburg, Va. native has appeared in 50 matches in her career and helped lead the Owls to an appearance in the Sun Belt Conference championships tournament as a sophomore in 2010.
Sophomore Amunique Scott started all 18 matches as a freshman and her athleticism helps as an outside defender. She has the ability to help lead the attack or change the course of the match's momentum with charges into the opposing team's zone.
Fellow sophomore Yazmin Ongtengco started the first 11 matches last season before suffering an injury. She brings international experience to the position after starting as a central defender for the Canadian National Team in the 2011 U-17 World Cup.
The defense will also benefit from having redshirt sophomore Olivia Mbala make her FAU debut this fall. She is a transfer from national powerhouse University of North Carolina, and practiced with her new teammates throughout last season. MBala will also see playing time as a midfielder.
Providing depth to the unit are newcomers Tessa Maffett, Sammie Mathews and Alessandra Morales.
FAU opens the 2012 season on Friday, August 17, at 7 p.m. against in-state rival Jacksonville University from the FAU Soccer Stadium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.