Nov. 5, 2007
BOCA RATON, FL - After clinching the no. 6 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 2-0 win over Florida International on Friday , the Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team will travel to Mobile, AL this weekend.
"It was a tough game for us. We got stuck in traffic and did not get (to Florida International) until 6:30 for a 7:00 game," said head women's soccer coach Brian Dooley.
The Owls will face the University of Denver (10-4-4, 7-2-2) in its first round match on Wednesday. FAU defeated the Pioneers 1-0 earlier this year on a goal by Susanna Lehtinen. Denver is led by Jenna Billingsley who leads the team in both goals (8) and points (18). Denver will try to repeat last year's meeting at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, where they defeated the Owls 2-0 in the semifinals on their way to the tournament title and their first College Cup win. The Pioneers also defeated then no.1-ranked Stanford 1-0 on a goal by Billingsley in the 96th minute earlier this season.
"Denver is the toughest matchup (in the conference) for us. That's because they play possession soccer. It is very difficult to get the ball back once they get it because they protect it so well," said Dooley.
The Owls, who have been shorthanded most of the year due to injury, will have to win three times in four days if they hope to win the automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup that goes to the tournament champion. Coach Dooley, however, does not want his team to look that far ahead.
"We can't worry about trying to conserve energy, because if we don't win on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday won't matter."
Wednesday's match against Denver will start at 11 a.m. Eastern. Live audio and video of the entire Sun Belt Soccer Tournament will be available for $9.95 on sunbeltsports.org.