The Kennesaw State University soccer team only needed 20 minutes to come away with the victory against the Jacksonville University Dolphins, defeating them 4-1 in the ASUN Conference Quarterfinals on Oct. 29 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
The Owls, who earned their first winning season since 2012 (10-7-1, 4-3-0 ASUN), advanced to the ASUN Conference semifinals for the third time in four years.
Everything went KSU’s way in the first half, outshooting their opponent 11-3, maintaining possession of the ball and coming up with four corner kicks.
KSU senior forward Kim Fincher broke the tie at the 58-minute mark and accounted for her seventh goal this season. Five minutes later, junior defender Abby Roth scored off a header from a corner kick for her third goal of the season.
Head coach Benji Walton was happy to get off to a good start from Fincher and Roth.
“It was huge,” Walton said. He knew his team would eventually put the pieces together.
“We were knocking on the door all first half and had some great looks but weren’t executing,” Walton said. “We had plenty of corners and had some good looks, but just couldn’t get one to fall. We just had to stick with it.”
Red-shirt senior midfielder Brittney Reed extended the lead as she scored off a penalty kick at the 71-minute mark. Junior midfielder Ashtah Das scored her first goal of the season for the Owls in the 78th minute and sealed the victory.
“Jacksonville has some dangerous attacking players, and we were conscious of that, but also wanted to make sure we played our game,” Walton said. “I thought we played both sides of the ball really well and stayed with our game plan.
“I am proud of the girls’ consistency throughout the game,” he said.
The Owls will face Florida Gulf Coast University (12-4-1, 6-0-1 ASUN) on Friday, Nov. 4, for a berth to the ASUN Conference championship game. FGCU defeated KSU 2-1 earlier in the season.
“I just told them to enjoy this tonight, but we have to focus tomorrow because we [are] traveling,” Walton said. “They’re the champs. We’re excited for the challenge.”