The Florida Atlantic University women's soccer team salvaged a split on their Texas road trip, getting past Rice on Sunday afternoon by the score of 1-0, in the team's next-to-last matchup of the regular season.
The Turning Point:
FAU (10-7-1, 7-1-1 Conference USA) notched the only goal of the match in the waning seconds of the first half. The visiting Owls earned a corner, taken by Sammy Vitols
, and possession was loose in the box until Tiril Haga
deposited it past the Rice (6-8-1, 4-4-1 C-USA) keeper with just 30 ticks left on the clock.
Rice did have the shot advantage after the break, 7-3, but the FAU defense was up to the task, including three saves by Jennifer Ocampo
. A possible Rice equalizer with under five minutes left was turned away by an offsides call, and the visitors held on for the win and three more key points in the C-USA standings.
- Nine FAU players spread out the team's 12 shot attempts, with only Elisha Holmes, Pernille Velta and Mary O'Hara with multiple opportunities (two apiece)
- Haga moved back into the team lead with five goals
- The shutout is the team's seventh of the year, all coming in conference play, and FAU is 6-0-1 in those results
- The team reached double digits in wins for the fourth straight year, and for the first time in that length of a span since 2003-2006
- The seven C-USA wins is the most since joining the league in 2013, and the most in any league since going 7-4-0 in 2006 as first-year members of the Sun Belt
"It wasn't pretty today, Rice is very talented (and) well-coached," said Head Coach Patrick Baker
. "We found the back of the net … and this has kind of been our m.o. We just find a way to get one, and we keep a clean sheet and just kind of move on. A different hero, today it was 'T' (Tiril Haga
). Sundays are always difficult, especially when you're on the road. This is a very difficult swing, if you can get three points out of six with having played Rice and North Texas, you'll probably take it."
Full Video with Coach Baker:
All that remains for FAU in this regular season is a border battle with FIU next Friday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. The next week begins the 2018 Conference USA Championship, on Wednesday, Oct. 31, in Norfolk, Virginia.