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Women’s soccer returns and dominates after 461 days in between matches

John Watson, Sports Editor

461 days. That’s how long UNF women’s soccer had to wait before the end of their 2019 season to play again. At Patton park on a chilly Wednesday night, they looked as if they hadn’t skipped a beat as the Ospreys defeated the Jacksonville University Dolphins by a score of 4-0.

Playing rival JU in the first game of the season is definitely an interesting opening-game, with non-conference matchups usually are set to begin their season. However, this season is unusual in itself, as soccer isn’t typically played in February. 

Playing in their first game since Nov. 1, 2019, the Ospreys showed they were prepared to get the win (Justin Nedrow)

The colder-than-usual game heated up after a scoreless first half, and the crowd erupted as ASUN preseason player of the year Thais Reiss scored the Osprey’s first goal of the season at the 56th-minute. She would finish with two goals on the day, scoring her second on a penalty kick in the closing 10 minutes.

After 56 minutes of play, the Ospreys finally erupted into celebration after Thais Reiss scored the first goal of the season. (Justin Nedrow)

As for that cold first half, the Ospreys had many opportunities to score but failed to capitalize. JU, on the other hand, did not record a shot in the first half. To make matters worse, the Dolphins wouldn’t record a shot on goal all game. 

While defense does win championships, it surely helped the Ospreys get the shutout win.

Reiss wasn’t the only one to have her shining, shining moment as two other Ospreys started the season with on-field celebrations. Emma Voigt scored the second goal of the game on an assist from Kendra Hoffman. Voigt, a redshirt sophomore, has equaled her goal total from last season in only 24 minutes on the pitch.

Osprey middle-fielder Mikayla Bond started her collegiate career on a high note as she found the back of the net and scored her first collegiate goal in her first game. The mix of veteran talent and young stars found their groove in the second half.

While it was a winter matchup, there was a fairly large crowd that filled the bleachers and as the night went on, things heated up on the pitch but not so much temperature-wise in the stands. 

The Ospreys did have an opportunity to score in the first half, but the crossbar had none of that attempt.

In an interview posted to unfospreys.com, Head Coach Eric Faulconer spoke about the team’s struggle in the first half and how they got the job done in the second.

“I thought we were sluggish in the first half, and JU did a good job with their defensive organization to make clean looks on goal hard to come by,” Faulconer said, “We picked up the tempo in the second half and did a lot of good things that moving forward we can build on.”

The Osprey’s next matchup is a little while down the road on Feb. 12th against FIU, but it will give the women’s team some time to fine-tune in their off-days. The game will be played at Patton park once again.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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