BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team will host three other squads this weekend for a two-day, four-team showcase, the FAU Adidas Owl Classic, at FAU Soccer Stadium this Friday and Sunday.
The Owls (1-1) and Florida Gulf Coast (1-1) will pair off against Eastern Michigan (1-0-1) and Valparaiso (2-0), flip-flopping the opponents each day. FAU's matches will take place Friday at 7:30 vs. EMU, and Sunday at 1:30 vs. Valpo. FGCU will open up each day's session against the opposite squad.
Owls' Week in Review
FAU took then-No. 7 Florida to the brink this past Friday night, with the Gators eking out a 1-0 victory at FAU Stadium on a penalty kick in overtime. Then on Sunday, the Owls rebounded with a 3-1 win over St. Francis, getting goals from Ebba Blomqvist, Tiril Haga and Pernille Velta. During the week, goalkeeper Jennifer Ocampo totaled 13 saves, third-most in Conference USA.
"I couldn't be more proud of the relentless fight this team had Friday night in such an incredible setting," said Owls' senior defender Madison Caldwell of the match versus Florida. "While we didn't get the result we wanted, we showed we can compete with one of the best teams in the country. This team is in store for something really special this year."
Owls' Week in Preview
After FGCU battles Valpo Friday, the Owls take on EMU. The Eagles started the season with a 1-1 tie versus Illinois State, and then defeated Illinois Chicago 2-1. Sabrina McNeill has two of the team's three goals and an assist as well. EMU was voted fourth in the Mid-American Conference's West Division in the preseason.
Sunday, FAU wraps the Classic against Valpo. The Crusaders have pitched two shutouts thus far, 3-0 over Grace and 2-0 vs. IUPUI. Sydney Griffin has a team-high two goals while also adding an assist, and Drew Moulton earned both shutout victories with seven total saves. The team rejoined the Missouri Valley Conference this season (after last competing in the MVC in 1998), and were picked fifth in the league's preseason poll.
"After a good start last weekend we are hungry for more and we are excited for the tournament this weekend," said Owls' senior midfielder Asta Arnadottir. "Playing teams we have not played before is always exciting and a challenge as well, but we have had some really good sessions this week that hopefully will transfer into the games."
Here is the full schedule of the FAU Adidas Owl Classic:
Friday, Aug. 25
- FGCU vs. Valparaiso, 5 p.m.
- FAU vs. Eastern Michigan, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 27
- FGCU vs. Eastern Michigan, 11 a.m.
- FAU vs. Valparaiso, 1:30 p.m.
The Owls have played EMU three times, and their matchup Sunday with Valpo will be the first in program history. The last matchup against EMU took place nine years ago, on Sept. 14, 2008, a 2-1 Eagles victory. That too made it a 2-1 Eagle advantage in the all-time series, and their second straight win (2-1 as well on Oct. 6, 1996). FAU took the first match between the two squads, 2-1, on Oct. 1, 1995.
FAU will hit the road for the first time this season next weekend, in a similar four-team showcase, at FGCU in Fort Myers. The Owls' opposition on the opposite coast will be Liberty and Kent State, on Friday (4:30) and Sunday (10:30 a.m.), respectively.