Sept. 26, 2010
Final Stats | Photo Gallery
Boca Raton, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team scored in the opening minutes of Sunday's match and never looked back in a dominating 6-0 victory over the University of Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday at the FAU Soccer Stadium in Boca Raton.
Sophomore forward Allison Griffin and freshman forward Alexandra Major each scored two goals as the Owls matched their largest margin of victory in league play, and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Courtney Zwetsch enjoyed her second straight shutout. FAU extends its winning streak to three matches and starts 2-0 for the first time since joining the Sun Belt Conference. Overall, the team stands 3-6 on the season. UALR falls to 4-7 on the season and 0-2 in league play.
"Today was a great performance and one that we have been waiting to happen for some time. We're putting everything together - at the right time of the season," said Brian Dooley, FAU's head women's soccer coach. "We couldn't have asked for a better start to the conference season."
Griffin made the most out of her first start of the season, scoring twice and having two assists that contributed to two other goals as the Owls scored five times in the first 23 minutes to seize control of the match. The Palm Bay, Fla. native converted a rebound shot to score into an open net just 1:26 into the match - her first goal of the season. She added her second tally in the 19th minute score on a nice one-timer following a shot from junior midfielder Gabriela DeVries.
"The first goal was one that when it left my foot I knew that I had struck it clean. The keeper gave me a pocket there and I drilled the shot." said Griffin. "The second goal was a nice cross into the box. I was able to get around on it and once again hit the ball solid."
Major, playing in her hometown of Boca Raton, added two goals to extend the FAU lead in the opening half. The first score - also her first collegiate marker - came in the 13th minute following perfectly executed connecting passes in the midfield from senior Anhnhi Tran and Griffin. Major dribbled the ball into the box, after receiving the pass from Griffin, and fired a shot into the lower left corner of the goal. She also scored after another touch pass from Tran in the 23rd minute.
Other FAU scores were recorded by freshman forward Jesse Shugg, from a pass by Griffin into the center of the 18-yard box, and freshman forward Marisa Russo, following a crossing pass from senior forward Laura Hyvonen. Shugg has now scored in three straight matches and leads the team with four goals this season.
"We are playing together as a team and not so much individually," noted Major. "We are putting things together and keeping the energy up throughout the game."
Griffin also noted the team's high energy level in the first half was the key to the victory.
"It was all about effort today," said Griffin. "The great intensity that we played with in the first half is what we need to take with us going forward and led us to picking up the victory."
The 6-0 victory matches FAU's largest Sun Belt Conference victory margin. The team defeated Troy University by the same score in 2006 - the first year that the Owls were members of the conference. That game also marked the last time that a Florida Atlantic player has totaled six or more points - a feat achieved by Tessa McGarrity.
Zwetsch matched her career high with eight saves in her second straight shutout.
Hyvonen led the team with four shots while Major had all three of her shots on goal. Shugg, Griffin and Russo each recorded two shots on the afternoon.
Dooley noted that the Owls are benefitting from hardships during the opening weeks of the season. "Things can change in a heartbeat. We were at the other end earlier this year. We can't let up and have to stay hungry because everything is balanced in the Sun Belt Conference."
The Owls will travel to the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. on Friday, October 1 before concluding next weekend's league action at Troy University on Sunday, October 3.