Women’s Soccer: Owls win Friday, take No. 9 North Carolina to overtime Sunday

Senior Sammy Rowland scored two total goals over the pair of games.

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Junior Asta Arnadottir scored the Owls’ first goal of Sunday’s game against No. 9 North Carolina to tie the score at 1-1. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

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fter defeating Jacksonville University 2-0 on Friday evening, Florida Atlantic women’s soccer had to quickly turn the page and prepare for the No. 9 ranked University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Owls (2-2) took the Tar Heels into overtime with a goal in the 90th minute. After a scoreless first period of overtime, North Carolina scored a goal in the second overtime period to win 3-2.

Here is a recap of each game:

Game One: Jacksonville 0, FAU 2

Strong defense allowed redshirt sophomore Jennifer Ocampo to be relaxed in the first start of her collegiate career after not appearing in a game in the last two years. Usual starter redshirt senior Sydney Drinkwater suffered a red card in her previous game at the University of Florida and was forced to sit out.

The Dolphins managed to cross a few balls in front of goal, but they were never able to connect with a teammate. Their only shot in the first half went over the crossbar 30 minutes after kickoff.

Jacksonville tested Ocampo twice in the second half, but she saved both shots.

“It was amazing, always work hard in training and it’s just a good feeling,” Ocampo said of her starting debut. “[The defense] made it so easy … they deserve the shutout as much as I do.”

The Owls captured the lead with five minutes left in the first half when junior Madison Caldwell received a pass down the left sideline from freshman Emily Cady. She lobbed the ball over the goalie’s head and into the side-netting for the first goal of her collegiate career.

“When it nestled in the far post it was a huge sigh of relief because we did feel like whoever got the first goal was going to have a little bit of the upper hand,” head coach Patrick Baker said.

Senior Sammy Rowland put constant offensive pressure on the opposing defense in the second half.

During an eight-minute stretch spanning from 74th minute to 82nd minute, she accounted for five shots. Four of those five were on-goal, and the other hit the post.

One minute later Rowland’s efforts paid off and she scored the second goal of the game and her second of the season.

“[We will] celebrate the win tonight and then everything is focused on Sunday,” Ocampo said. “Scouting report, film, everything is focused on Carolina.”

Game Two: North Carolina 3, FAU 2 (OT)

In a role-reversal from Friday night, FAU struggled to control the tempo of the game. However, they still managed to keep in stride with the nationally ranked Tar Heels for much of the game.

After North Carolina opened the scoring in the 17th minute, Owls junior Asta Arnadottir responded in 27th minute.

North Carolina appeared to win the game in regulation when they retook the lead in the 89th minute. But just 30 seconds later, Rowland spun around one defender before juking out two others and scored her second goal of the weekend to force overtime.

The two teams played a scoreless first half of overtime. After the opening period, North Carolina freshman Zoe Redei ended the game with a sudden-death overtime goal in the 113th minute.

The Owls finish their three-game home stand on Friday, Sept. 2, when they host Stetson University at 5:30 p.m.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.