A-Sun championship or bust

Women’s soccer goalkeeper Molly Keating recorded an FAU-record 7th straight shutout in her last regular season game at FAU field. Midfielder Rhonda Jones scored her career-high 7th goal of the season in that same game, a 1-0 win over Colorado College.

None of that mattered except the win.

As the team prepares to begin play in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament (Nov. 6-9 at FAU) none of the records or goals mean a thing to these girls.

When told that her shutout was a program record, Keating replied, “Is it?” She tried to focus more on the team having the fourth lost-goals-against-average in the country. When asked what the record means she simply said, “Nothing.”

Jones also promoted the team when asked about her goal, “Team’s on fire. Can’t score goals yourself – it’s all the team effort.”

That is what sets this team apart from all the others; they are focused on unity and winning the A-Sun championship.

With one game remaining against #18 Florida State, the women’s soccer team is 15-3 with a 9-1 conference record, which ensures them of a share of the regular season conference championship with UCF.

Campbell is one game behind and can tie both teams with a win over Gardner-Webb in their final game.

This could make things very interesting as the top two seeds will get a first round bye in tournament play and then have to win only two games instead of three for the title.

The seniors are ready to bring FAU a championship and this team has what it takes to win on their home turf.

“We are so determined,” Jones said. “This is the seniors’ last chance and we are ready to grab it; can’t wait.”

Six teams make the conference tournament (capsules of each are in the box). So far, UCF, FAU, Campbell, Georgia St., and Gardner-Webb have qualified. The last spot will be determined when Stetson plays Jacksonville on the 29th, with the winner getting in.

Coach Dooley is confident but knows it will be tough. “Any one of those six teams can go on a run,” he said. “We have been at both ends of it-an unseeded team that made it to the finals and a seeded team that got knocked off.”

Dooley added, “Any team is capable of defeating us and we are capable of beating any opponent. We are not afraid of playing anyone.”

Against Colorado College the team battled through adversity. Trying to hold onto a 1-0 lead, they had to thwart a non-stop Colorado attack. When they got their chances, though, FAU was buzzing the net looking for the insurance goal. A game like this will help the Owls as they will play in tight games no matter whom they face in the tournament.

The fans are also ready for this team to play for a championship. A good crowd showed up to cheer on the Owls and actually got pretty rowdy, shouting at the referees for calls and chanting: “FAU,” to inspire the team.

“I think we had pretty good support all season,” Dooley said about the fans. “I don’t mind (the rowdiness) as long as we keep it in fun spirit.”

All the players are looking for the stands to be full when they begin to chase this title, and they don’t plan on disappointing their fans.