Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Women’s Soccer: FAU upsets USF in AAC Tournament Quarterfinals

Senior midfielder Molly Setsma scores a goal against 2-seed USF to secure the Owls’ position in the AAC Tournament Semifinals.
Ben Solomon/AAC Media
FAU women’s soccer players celebrating senior midfielder Molly Setsma’s (#29) second-half goal against the 2-seed University of South Florida (USF) Bulls. The Owls won 1-0 on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023.

The 7-seed Florida Atlantic Owls women’s soccer team (8-6-5, 3-3-3 AAC) defeated the 2-seed University of South Florida Bulls (10-6-2, 6-1-2 AAC) in a quarterfinal upset in the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday. 

In their previous matchup, the Owls suffered a 2-1 loss to the Bulls during the Owls’ regular season finale in Tampa.

This one was personal for FAU head coach Patrick Baker, going up against longtime friend and USF head coach Denise Schilte-Brown.

“We want to create a short field of attack, we want to be explosive,” said Baker when asked about the strategy going into the game. “We haven’t seen the best of our team yet.” 

The Bulls have been red hot, coming off a win streak. They tested the Owls early with a shot on goal in the opening minutes, but FAU senior goalie Lexi Gonzalez made the save. 

Both teams continued to feel each other out as the first half of play began to wind down. The Bulls continued to set a tone throughout the first half, but when it translated into nothing, tensions began to rise. 

With minutes left in the half, the Owls made a run for goal but to no avail. The game remained scoreless heading into halftime.

“Take advantage of the chances when you get them; chances will be slim to none,” Baker stated on the main takeaway at halftime.

The Owls ended the first half with three shots, one shot on goal and five fouls, while the Bulls ended the half with nine shots, three shots on goal and four fouls. 

The second half began with much of the same, a scrappy fight between these two in-state teams. FAU junior defender Iris Young committed a foul, which the referees reviewed to see if the Bulls deserved a penalty kick. After several minutes, the call was overturned and the Owls kept the ball.

FAU senior midfielder Molly Setsma scored at around midway through the second half, giving the Owls a one score lead. 

Tensions began to rise at the 15-minute mark as the window began to close for the Bulls to take this battle into overtime. 

With minutes left in the game, Gonzalez made a critical save to keep the Owls in the lead, coming up in a big way. The Owls won the game 1-0.

“We know we have to earn every game in practice from here on out,” said Setsma. “I think that we showed we can earn it tonight. Moving forward, I think the energy from tonight will carry us into our next game.”

The Owls advanced to face the 3-seed Southern Methodist University Mustangs (10-5-1, 5-3-1 AAC) on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. on ESPN+.

Jackson Gore is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this story or others, email him at [email protected] or DM him at jackson_raton.

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