HIALEAH, Fla. ( Oct. 25, 2022) – Florida National had all the drama and intrigue any Conquistador soccer fan can hope for on a senior night. FNU has catapulted itself to the top of the USCAA power rankings and had a two-game win streak entering Tuesday’s match against Edward Waters at Milander Park. The home team came out victorious with a 4-3 win over the Tigers, delivering their fourth win of the season. Florida National improves to 4-4-1 while NCAA Division II Edward Waters falls to 3-9-1.
This was the second meeting between these two evenly matched teams this season, their last match ending in a 1-1 draw thanks to a heads-up goal by Casia Kennedy. This game, however, was a high-scoring shoot-out from the first whistle.
The Tigers were on the hunt early, connecting on two goals in the first half from Sophia Paffrath and Rayven Norman due in large part to stellar passing from teammate Ellie Shurman. Facing a 2-0 deficit just 15 minutes into the match may cause other teams to buckle under the pressure. But FNU continued to attack the net, eventually connecting on a goal from Bethania Pires da Cruz in the 29-minute of the first half, assisted by Delmis Reyes Amaya. With a more manageable 2-1 ball game, both sides retired for the half, as FNU prepared to recognize a select group of seniors for the final home match of their college careers.
Surrounded by teammates and members of the FNU coaching staff, Jahaira James, Lais Falcao, Pires da Cruz, Kennedy and Lizabeth Ardanal all received framed shirts and were greeted with emotional applauses in recognition of their years of commitment to the program.
Once the festivities ended, there was still work to be done.
Five minutes into the half, Dominique Mosley found herself one-on-one with EWU’s goalkeeper after a curving, grass-cutting pass from Pires da Cruz. The junior wasted time and sailed the ball into the net to tie the match at 2-2.
Mosley went to work again, scoring another goal to give FNU a 3-2 lead on a pass from Kennedy. The two broke out in a griddy celebration dance to commemorate the occasion, as FNU looked primed to put this game away with about thirty minutes left on the clock.
But the Tigers weren’t going away, as Sophia Paffrath launched a hail-mary goal from outside the penalty box that rattled its way into the net to tie the match once again. This tie, however, would only last a couple of plays.
Two minutes later, Claudia Rivero found the back of the net on a game-changing pass from Mosley to give FNU the 4-3 advantage and the eventual victory.
The Tigers led FNU in shots with 18 to the Conquistadors’ ten. FNU completed five corner kicks to EWU’s three.
Up Next: Florida National faces another NCAA Division II foe Lynn University. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. from Boca Raton, Florida.