Late First-Half Goals Flurry Delivers PBA Women's Soccer a Home Victory

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University Sports Information Director

Stephanie Keul (Pictured) Continued Her Good Play in the Defensive Back Tonight as the Sailfish Defeated Florida Memorial 3-1. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Stephanie Keul (Pictured) Continued Her Good Play in the Defensive Back Tonight as the Sailfish Defeated Florida Memorial 3-1. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Trailing 1-0 entering the final fifteen minutes before halftime on Wednesday evening at Lantana Field, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s soccer team appeared as if they would have much work to do in the second-half. That changed rather quickly however as the Fish poured on three goals before the halftime horn sounded as they cruised to a 3-1 victory over Florida Memorial University.

Now winner’s of back-to-back matches after defeating Florida Southern College last Friday, the Sailfish are now just one win away from already reaching their 2008 win total. The victory tonight over Florida Memorial leaves second-year Sailfish head coach James Kryger with a 4-3 record and some things in which to be pleased by.

“Tonight’s game was a good test for our young team. We were pressed all night by a fighting team in FMU. In the game of soccer the hardest opponent to play is a team that gives you no respect and that is exactly what we saw tonight. What the coaching staff enjoyed the most is our response to going a goal down through a PK. Our girls regrouped, showed tremendous character and responded with three goals before half that set the tone for the night,” said Kryger.

As mentioned, FMU got the scoring started in the first-half at the 23rd minute as Nadia Baltazar was taken down on her march toward the goal. She connected for the penalty kick to move ahead 1-0 in the match.

However back came the Sailfish six minutes later as they tied the score with an unassisted goal from freshman Courtney Calhoun who took a hard shot from beyond the box and found the back of the net for a 1-1 game.

Another freshman, Marco Island native Gabby Lopez, came through with what turned out to be the game-winning goal as her free kick in the 37th minute sailed into the area of the goal and flew in for her second score of the season and a 2-1 lead for the Fish.

Junior Angie Kuhn, who was named the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Player of the Week earlier in the day for her performance last week against FSC, received credit for goal number three as she found a Nicole Kent corner kick at her feet and then one-touched it in for the score just 24 seconds before the half was scheduled to end.

PBA outshout the Lions 12-4 in the first-half while earning six corner kicks to just one for FMU. Things were similar in the second-half with PBA holding FMU to just two shots in the second 45 minutes while adding seven more to make the total shot count for the night fall at 19-6 in favor of the Fish.

Senior goalkeeper Ashley Morrell earned her second win in as many starts as she made four saves to seal the victory.

“We will need to work game in and game out, finding our times to attack and being patient defensively. Our ladies put forth an effort they can all be happy about. Coach Rife and I felt pleased with our game plan execution and with many of the individual efforts on the park tonight,” said Kryger.

PBA will take the remainder of the week off from game action as they will begin to prepare for a showdown with Saint Leo University team on Tuesday, October 6th. The action is slated to begin at 7 p.m. with the game to be played at Lantana Field.

“We will use this time between and now and Tuesday to prepare for a very tough Saint Leo squad. I have faith our team will be roaring to go on Tuesday and it will be a good test for us as we push forward to the middle of our season,” concluded Kryger.

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