BOCA RATON, Fla. - The 2014-15 Florida Atlantic University athletics season begins Friday night with the FAU Women's Soccer team kicking off at USF in a 7:30 p.m. match in Tampa. The Owls will then host Stetson for their home opener on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. at the FAU Soccer Stadium, Boca Raton campus.
The Owls, under the direction of head coach Patrick Baker, are 5-8-2 all-time against the Bulls, but the programs have not met since 2009. USF compiled a record of 10-4-6 in 2013 and has not lost a home match since its first match of 2012 against No. 12 UCF on Aug. 17.
Friday's game will be a homecoming of sorts for new FAU goalkeeper Sydney Drinkwater, who transferred from USF last season. The sophomore played in two matches for the Bulls in 2013, totaling 85 minutes in the net without allowing a goal.
Sunday's battle will feature a host of newcomers as Stetson brings 15 new faces to its roster. The Owls boast 16 newcomers on their 2014 roster. Stetson went 6-10-2 in 2013 and was 2-7-1 on the road.
The first 100 students in attendance on Sunday will receive free pizza and have a chance to win an iPod. Youth tickets cost just $1 with purchase of an adult ticket at regular price.
FAU senior Olivia Mbala was named the Conference USA Preseason Defender of the Year by College Sports Madness. MBala and Claire Emslie were named to the All-Conference USA Preseason First Team and Katie Englert was named to the Second Team by CSM.
The Owl return 73 percent of their offense from 2013 and were the best defensive team in C-USA last season.