Men’s Soccer: Owls end HBU Invitational with a 5-2 thrashing of hosts Houston Baptist

It was the first time since 2019 that FAU scored five goals in a game.


Photo by Eston Parker III.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

FAU men’s soccer (2-0-0) ended its final game in the HBU Invitational in Houston, Texas Sunday night with a scoring onslaught, taking down tournament hosts Houston Baptist (1-1-0) 5-2. 

It was the first time since 2019 that FAU scored five goals in a game, which the Owls beat Keiser in a 5-2 home victory.

The Owls took less than six minutes to start the game with a goal. Thanks to a foul drawn in the penalty box, senior forward Ivan Mykhailenko continued being a deadeye at penalties as he converted his first goal of the season with ease.

Unfortunately for FAU, the Huskies responded the next minute. Thanks to a corner kick from graduate midfielder Gianluca Natera, senior forward CJ Smith received the ball to put it past senior goalkeeper Neil Strauber to the high-left corner of the net. 

The Owls weren’t having any of that, and they responded in the 10th minute due to defender Luis Sailer Fidalgo brilliantly delivering the ball inside the penalty box for senior midfielder Blake Dean to smash it home.

In the 26th minute, sophomore defender Vasilis Spinos decided to join the goalscoring party. Receiving the pass from junior defender Tom Abrahamsson, he took a deep shot as the ball rolled past sophomore goalkeeper Gustavo Otero to the low-left side of the net, putting the Owls up 3-1.

The Huskies, not wanting to give up early in the first half, found a second goal in the 33rd minute. Thanks to persistence in getting the ball, junior forward Bryant Farkariun found the perfect opportunity to lob the ball to the high-right side of goal to keep the game close.

FAU refused to lose its goal cushion, as freshman midfielder Davide Romeo scored in the 42nd minute as he brought the ball from his non-dominant left foot to his dominant right foot and shot it as it curved to the low-left side of the net. Senior midfielder Alonso Coello Camarero created the opportunity for Romeo.

Even though FAU continued finding chances in the second half, goals became hard to come by as multiple saves and deflections prevented that from occurring.

Despite conceding two goals, Strauber continued displaying quality saves for the Owls. He saved a penalty kick in the 71st minute from Farkariun that went to his left and a direct free kick from Alex Serrano in the 83rd minute.

Mykhailenko added another goal to his collection with a low header in the 77th minute thanks to Fidalgo providing a quality cross inside the box, sealing the win for FAU.

The Owls come back home to Boca Raton to host its first game at FAU Soccer Stadium against Keiser on Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. It will be broadcast on C-USA TV.

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.