Lady Owl season ends

The Florida Atlantic women’s soccer team entered the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament with high hopes. Their 10-2 conference record had secured them a No. 2 seed in the tournament, and also gave them a first-round bye. Moreover, in their first match on Friday Nov. 8, they faced Jacksonville University, whom they had shutout in the regular season by a score of 1-0 on Oct. 26.

However, their high hopes were shattered when they lost to JU by a score of 3-2 in overtime.

The extra period might not have taken place if FAU defender Krista Fine wasn’t charged with a yellow card that gave JU a free kick late in the second half, which the Dolphins capitalized on, tying the game at 2.

FAU Head Coach Brian Dooley was disappointed with the call.

“They got a free service into our box, out of a situation that was totally outrageous,” Dooley said.

Dooley said that Krista Fine was simply marking one of the Jacksonville players and playing her tough, like she’d done all game. He also said that the play was far away from the goal and irrelevant to any possible JU scoring opportunity.

JU got a scoring opportunity on the free kick though. Dooley and Fine didn’t take this lightly.

In between the second half and the overtime period, Fine told Dooley she didn’t even touch the girl that she supposedly committed the foul on.

“At that point, I was standing up for my player. I asked the official, ‘What was the foul?'” Coach Dooley said. He couldn’t believe the caustic response he got.

“His response was [said] in a way that I wouldn’t treat anyone. [He said], ‘Go back to your bench, coach. I don’t need to talk to you,'” he said.

Dooley asked again and got the same response. He didn’t give up though. While walking back to his bench, a frustrated Dooley protested to the conference officials at the scorer’s table.

He said, “The game was just stolen from us. What was the call? I don’t understand it.”

In retrospect, Dooley said he should’ve controlled his anger better. At the same time, he didn’t understand the call.

Besides that yellow card he had nothing to complain about in the match. Dooley said that the whole team played a tough match. Especially impressive were players like goaltender Molly Keating, midfielder Kelly Hoffman, sweeper Danielle Castro, and forward Julie Ferguson, to name a few.

Keating had eight saves in the match. It was the end of a great year for her. She was named to the All-Conference Second team with a .86 goals against average. That average was first in the A-Sun.

Dooley saw Hoffman pick up her play since Rhonda Jones was playing on an injured knee. “I think she showed real heart and desire,” he said.

Coach Dooley also saw great play from Danielle Castro, who “played the best game I’ve seen her play in three years.”

Julie Ferguson also did well, scoring one of her team’s two goals.

“The girls did everything that was necessary to win the game,” Dooley said. The yellow card simply did them in.

“It’s the kind of situation that you try to fight through, and you try to not let those things affect you. But it just became so overwhelming, and it affected the outcome of the game,” Dooley said.

FAU had to say goodbye to a year in which 20 team and individual records were either tied or broken. They had hoped for more.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be,” Dooley said.