Spartans Come Up Short in NCAA Regional SemisNovember 17, 2013
WINTER PARK, Fla. – The No. 18 University of Tampa (15-4-3) women’s soccer team ended its season with a 3-2 double overtime loss to No. 15 Rollins College (16-3) in the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Division II South Regional.
"I couldn't be prouder of our team," says head coach Gerry Lucey. "To have to play back to back vertime games against a fresh Rollins squad and get so close to the win was an achievement in itself. We have lost 8 players to season-ending injuries and have played with a field player in goal for the last 16 games. This group of young women should be very proud of their accomplishment and will hopefully come back stronger."
The Spartans held the lead on two occasions, beginning with an unassisted goal by freshman Chelsea Martin in the 40th minute. The lead was short-lived as Rollins evened the tally a little over a minute later on a score from Mackenzie Miller.
Tampa freshman Emily Jones gave her team late hope as she put her team up by a 2-1 score in the 82nd minute from Gabby Russo. The Tars would once again tie the game, forcing overtime on a Samantha Collin goal just 40-seconds before the end of regulation.
The game would head to double overtime after a scoreless 10 minutes, as Rollins would net the game-winner at 106:05 on a score by Paxton Sickler from Emma Bloom.
"Rollins is a very strong opponent and has improved a lot since last year," says Lucey. "We wish them success in the next round."
Goalkeeper Alyson Gregorowicz turned in a stellar effort as the senior finished her career with a career-high eight saves. Rollins outshot the Spartans 26-11, including a 11-4 advantage on shots on goal.
"Alyson sacrificed so much this year and played a massive role in getting us this far," comments Lucey. "To play in goal for the past 16 games when our goalkeeper went down has been a testament to her team first attitude."
Tampa finishes a 2013 season where it was nationally-ranked all season and ranked as one of the nation’s top teams in scoring offense and defense. A strong nucleus returns in 2014, as UT will also welcome back 2012 Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year Lauren Moore.
"The seniors left every last ounce of energy they had and have given us four years of enjoyment," states Lucey. "Cina (Salemi), Alyson (Gregorowicz) and Shannon (Walisch) have won 62 games over this period and three SSC championships plus a NCAA regional championship too."