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Stetson Spoils FAU's Women's Soccer Opener

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Stetson Spoils FAU's Women's Soccer Opener

Junior Midfielder Janelle Blake (#4)

Two first half goals allowed Stetson University a rare victory in Boca Raton, beating Florida Atlantic University 2-0 Sunday in the Owls’ 2009 women’s soccer season opener.

Stetson junior Tessa Gavilsky – the 2008 Atlantic Sun Conference “Player of the Year” – scored in the 16th minute and assisted in Katie Bitetto’s goal moments later, allowing the Hatters a two-goal advantage at halftime.

In the long-standing series between the two Florida schools, Stetson won for just the first time last year in Deland. Before Sunday the Hatters had never beaten FAU on the road.

“In the history of this rivalry Brian (Dooley) has owned our program for years,” said Stetson Head Coach Julie Orlowski. “I think some of our younger players are oblivious to that but to have taken two straight is huge for us.”

Ashley Mannarino just missed scoring in the early stages of the second half, pushing a ball wide of the net on an open breakaway. A terrific leaping save by FAU freshman goalkeeper Ashley Lantes helped keep the Owls within striking distance but the Owls were unable to capitalize on a number of chances to get back into the game.

“We need to be more aggressive. I thought we were timid,” said FAU Head Coach Brian Dooley. “We were playing against a team that was very well organized. Technically they held the ball better then we did. When you combine those things it makes it really tough to come back from a deficit.”

FAU (0-1-0) had four corner kick opportunities in the second half. Mannarino and Poway , California native and true freshman Tamara Kesser combined for four of FAU’s eight shots.

Stetson (1-1-0) responded well to a disappointing 3-0 home loss to FIU in its opener.

“We had an advantage today because we had played on Friday,” said Orlowski. “(FAU) had a lot of great plays but couldn’t break through. I think some little things with their timing and rhythm weren’t clicking today, but they are going to be very tough team to deal with. I glad we got them when we did.”

The Owls will try to rebound next weekend. Up next is a Friday night match at USF in Tampa , followed by a home game with Ball State University Sunday, August 30 at 12 noon.

Source: FAU Media Relations

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