Aug. 20, 2008
BOCA RATON, FL - The Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team begins its 2008 season this weekend. The Owls travel to Fort Myers Friday, August 22 to play a road match at Florida Gulf Coast University before facing the 20th-ranked University of Florida Gators at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 24 at FAU Field.
The Sun Belt Conference coaches picked Florida Atlantic to finish fifth among the league's 12-teams in the SBC preseason poll. The Owls return the majority of a strong defensive side from 2007, but must find a way to replace the bulk of its offensive production. FAU loses five key players who accounted for 24 of FAU's 28 goals in 2007 - helping the Owls post its eighth-straight winning season under 10th-year head coach Brian Dooley.
Florida Atlantic @ Florida Gulf Coast
7 p.m. Friday August 22
FGCU Soccer Complex
FGCU, a school founded in 1997, is beginning its second season of women's soccer. The Eagles return 10 of 11 starters from a year ago. The Eagles went 11-7 overall and 7-4 in Atlantic Sun Conference play in its inaugural season. FGCU's roster is dominated by underclassmen (14 freshmen and 11 sophomores). The Eagles went 5-4 last season at home. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.
No. 20 Florida @ Florida Atlantic
2 p.m. Sunday August 20
Florida, ranked No. 20 nationally in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason Top 25 poll, visits Boca Raton Sunday afternoon. The Gators went 17-5-3 and won the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship in 2007. The SEC coaches picked Florida to win the league title again in 2008. Florida advanced to the NCAA College Cup Tournament's Regional Final (Elite 8) last season. FAU and Florida played to a rain-soaked scoreless draw in Gainesville on September 21, 2007. The Gators lead the all-time series with FAU 1-0-1.
Florida plays its season-opener at the University of Colorado Friday, August 22 in Boulder. Colorado has been picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 Conference.
The first 100 fans in attendance Sunday afternoon to watch the Owls and Gators will receive a free hot dog and soda. The FAU Ticket Office is located at FAU's Tom Oxley Center, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit www.FAUSPORTS.com.