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Women's Soccer Loses Opener to Stetson

Despite dominating the match statistically, the Florida Atlantic University women’s soccer team came away with a hard fought 4-3 loss in its season opening match at Stetson University on Friday night in DeLand.  The Hatters broke a 3-3 tie with the winning goal as four remained in the match.

The Owls outshot the host Hatters by a decisive 21-11 advantage, including a 12-5 margin in the second half, and had six corner kick opportunities.

Finding itself trailing 3-0 in the first half, FAU mounted a terrific rally by scoring three goals over a 25-minute stretch to even the match before Tessa Gavilsky’s game-winning goal for Stetson in the final hectic minutes.

All three of Florida Atlantic’s goals were scored by freshman players making their collegiate debuts.

Freshman forward Marissa Russo battled through a scramble in front of the net to score her first career goal in the 41st minute to begin the Owls’ rally.  The Trinity, Fla. native came off the bench to pace the team’s offensive attack with five shots.

In the second half, FAU pulled closer in the 62nd minute after freshman forward Brittany Nash finished in the middle of the attack box to a wide open net.  The goal came after crisp passes from freshman forward Alexandra Major and Russo.

The team tied the match a few minutes later as freshman defender Allyson Buerosse fired a shot from 30 yards out that was fumbled by the Hatters’ goalkeeper.

Stetson built the lead in the first half by scoring three goals on six shots in the period.  Alexis Hermosa started the scoring in the 13th minute after a crossing pass by Katie Bitetto into the middle of the box.  Then, in the 19th minute, Courtney Jenista scored after an initial shot by Gavilsky was stopped by FAU sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Lantes.  That situation created an open net, which Jenista cashed in for the tally.  Bitetto rounded out the first-half scoring for Stetson in the 38th minute after an odd-man rush left her one-on-one against Lantes.

Nash recorded four shots on the evening while two shots were collected by junior defender Gabriela DeVries, senior forward Laura Hyvonen, freshman forward Jesse Shugg and Major.

The Owls fall to 0-1 on the season and will play at nationally-ranked University of Florida on Friday, August 27.  The team opens the home season against Robert Morris University on September 3.