M. SOCCER

Tyler Blackwood registered his second hat trick of the 2012 season.
Tyler Blackwood registered his second hat trick of the 2012 season.

Spartans Hit Stride in Win at Florida Southern

Box Score

LAKELAND, Fla. – The University of Tampa (9-4-1, 6-2 SSC) men’s soccer team turned in a breakout performance with a season-high goal output as it topped Florida Southern College (2-11-1, 1-6 SSC) in a Sunshine State Conference match.

“I am so proud of these guys,” says head coach Adrian Bush. “It’s been a fantastic turnaround from a 3-10-2 season a year ago. Credit goes to these players for believing in each other and putting in the hard work.”

Tyler Blackwood served as the offensive hero for the Spartans, connecting on his second hat trick of the season. After scoring first on an own goal, UT then took a 2-0 lead on an Alex Knaggs score before Blackwood recorded the next three Tampa goals.

Trent Roy and Matt Noble each added an assists for the Spartans, who outshot the Mocs 22-7. UT also had an 11-3 differential in shots on goal.

David Niepel played 84 minutes in goal for Tampa, before giving way to senior Alberto Orozco. After earning a spot on the team in the spring, Orozco played the final 5:15, allowing no goals.

“To finish number-two in the SSC is good, as it is the toughest conference in the country,” states Bush. “But being number-two is not our goal or expectations of this athletic department. We have an important two weeks in front of us.”

Tampa will return home to face Sunshine State Conference opponent Saint Leo University on Thursday at 7 p.m. The match will also serve as senior day for five Spartans.

Fans may follow University of Tampa athletics on Twitter (www.twitter.com/utspartans) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/tampaspartans). UT also offers blAst, a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.

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