Oct. 23, 2015
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Six seniors took part in their final game at the FAU Soccer Stadium on a beautiful night and walked away with a win as the Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team blanked UAB 4-0 in Conference USA action.
The Owls (11-7, 5-3 C-USA) have their best record since the NCAA Tournament team of 2005 and could clinch a berth in the C-USA Tournament with a victory on Sunday at FIU.
"I'm really proud of our girls tonight and how they worked through the full 90 minutes," FAU Head Coach Patrick Baker said. "Senior Night is a lot of things and brings a great deal of emotions to everyone involved. Excited our seniors got to start their final home game and conclude their home careers on a winning note."
Senior Claire Emslie moved into a tie for second all-time at FAU in both goals scored and game-winning goals with a strike in the 59th minute on an assist by sophomore Asta Arnadottir. Emslie also moved into a tie for third all-time with her 64th career point.
Just two minutes later, junior Geovana Alves took a rebound off of the UAB keeper and split a pair of defenders to double the lead to 2-0. Alves wasn't done yet, as the Brazilian scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season 36 seconds later on a header assisted by Emslie.
In the 76th minute, senior Taylor Townsend fired a penalty kick into the net for her third goal of the year to give FAU its largest margin of victory in a match since 2010 (6-0 vs. Arkansas Little Rock).
"The first half was even and we fully knew that UAB was far better than their record indicated. Coach Warren does a tremendous job and his players were prepared to play tonight. We started the second half strong and had two good looks early, before Asta Arnadottir slipped a great ball to Emslie for a quality first time finish. Two minutes later Alves created a nice chance and managed to finish into an open net for the all important second goal. Very shortly after that, Emslie served a wonderful ball from the edge of the box as Alves headed the ball home for a 3-0 lead. It was great to see their partnership really shine at times tonight. The lead allowed us to rotate some players and keep fresh legs moving throughout the final 25 minutes. Amanda Lodge made a nice move in the box before being brought down and Townsend stepped up to calmly slot the penalty kick. Defensively we bent some, but didn't break and need to address some things before Sunday's game at FIU. " Junior goalkeeper Sydney Drinkwater earned her eighth shutout of the season, and fourth in a row, making three saves on the evening. She became the first FAU keeper to record four consecutive shutouts since Jessica Badders in 2007.
With the win, FAU climbed into fourth in the C-USA standings. The Owls travel to Miami to take on rival FIU in a 1 p.m. match on Sunday, Oct. 25.
" Claire Emslie
and Gabriella Sosa
have been with us since day one of our turnaround process here and I couldn't be more proud of these two young ladies. They are FAU Women's Soccer. We have been through a lot together and I wanted this year to be special for them. Amanda Lodge
and Jade Rhodes
both enjoyed tremendous junior college careers at Eastern Florida State College and appreciate them continuing their college careers at FAU. They have been valuable additions to our program and know what it takes to be successful. Taylor Townsend
and Alexa Arrasate
both started their careers at other institutions, but found their way to FAU and we couldn't be more thankful they did. Unfortunately Arrasate's career ended after her second knee injury, but she was a talented midfielder that created quality soccer. Townsend is a strong presence up front for us and has a knack for scoring goals at critical times. I'm proud of them as students and soccer players, but especially as the young women they have become!"
Coach Baker on the FAU Senior Class