SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA soccer team (6-6-4, 1-3-3 AAC) battled the Florida Atlantic Owls (6-5-5, 2-2-3 AAC) to a 0-0 draw during Thursday’s Senior Night contest at Park West. Despite the most complete game of the season, the Roadrunners 19-shot performance was stifled by a yeoman’s effort from FAU goalkeeper Lexi Gonzalez, putting down a battering variety of shots from the UTSA offense.
UTSA came out with an aggressive approach in all facets, delivering a dominant season-high 71-29 possession advantage in the first half. The Roadrunners rattled off 13 shots in the first 45 minutes and held the Owls without a shot in the first half.
Senior Deja Sandoval and junior Haley Lopezanchored the stunning defensive effort, working with senior Sarina Russand Sabrina Hillyer to keep their third cleared and the FAU shots column blank into the 68th minute.
The Roadrunners kept the pressure on high throughout the second half, wrapping up with a 60-40 possession advantage, only allowing 20 percent of FAU possessions to reach the attacking third.
UTSA registered 19 shots on the night with 11 shots on target – the second-most on the season. However, Gonzalez seemingly appeared at every opportunity while racking up 11 saves to maintain the scoreless draw.
Jordan Walker led the way for UTSA, notching four shots with two on goal, while freshman Tyler Cokerlogged three shots with a pair on target. A last-second opportunity for the win sailed high as Olivia Alvarez raced through the FAU line with seven seconds remaining.
In the UTSA goal, freshman Jasmine Kessler
Playing before a crowd of 1,206 – the second-largest crowd of the season – the Roadrunners celebrated eight outgoing seniors in an emotional postgame ceremony for Sarina Russ, Mikhaela Cortez, Marlee Fray, Deja Sandoval, Alissa Stewart, Avery Chaney, Mackenzie Kaufhold and Alex Granville
Quoting Coach Derek Pittman
“Really proud of our team. They played really well against Temple and we asked them to come out her tonight and leave no doubt who we are and what we are made of – and we played the best game we’ve played all season long. Defensively, we disrupted them and didn’t give them a whole lot of chances. We were aggressive on the attack but their goalkeeper absolutely stood on their head making some big-time saves. In this conference, absolutely every game is tight, but our players fought until the bitter end and even creating that chance with seven seconds to go could have been the winner.”
The Roadrunners at 1-0-2 over the past three American Athletic Conference outings and close off the 2023 home slate on Sunday against South Florida in the annual Pink Out for breast cancer awareness. The Bulls are 8-5-2 (4-1-2) and lead the AAC East Division, seeing a 1-1 tie on Thursday at Rice. The Roadrunners and Owls will kick off at 1 p.m. at Park West in the home finale.