Spartans Cage In Panthers in Close Win

Spartans Cage In Panthers in Close Win

MELBOURNE, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's soccer team was on the road for their second to last trip of the regular season as they took on the Florida Tech Panthers. The Spartans spoiled senior night for the Panthers as they came out on top 1-0 thanks to a goal late in the first half from Miranda Gonzalez.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 1, Florida Tech 0
Records: Spartans (7-5-1, 4-4 SSC), Panthers (6-6-2, 3-4-1 SSC)
Location: Rick Stottler Field | Melbourne, Fla.

All-time Series: Tampa leads the all-time series against FIT 11-3-6

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HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | Florida Tech came out flying at the first whistle as they were boosted by the senior day events prior to the start of the game. With not even two minutes gone to start the game, the home side earned a corner kick. The ball was sent into the near post and a FIT player headed it towards goal. Reni Taiwo, on alert at the post, cleared the ball off the line and out. The danger wasn't over as the Panthers got off another couple of shots with the final one hitting off the crossbar. The Spartans were able to settle in after that burst and able to begin building on their play. The showed what they could do as they kept possession of the ball and tried attacking from both sides of the field but the keeper for the Panthers held them off. With 20 minutes to go in the half, UT had their best chance of the night up to that point as Erika Peitersen crossed the ball on the ground to the near post. Emily Cady met the ball and tried to beat the keeper but the goalie did just enough to deflect it. Gonzalez followed up the attempt and took a shot of her own but the goalkeeper had recovered in time to send it out. Florida Tech came back on the offensive and earned a free kick near the top of the box. The attempt went over the middle of the defensive wall but Caroline Frykgard dove to her right and palmed the shot away to keep the score at zeroes. With just over five minutes to go, Ashley Loeza linked up with Gonzalez near the top of the box and Gonzalez used the space the defense gave her to take a shot that found its way to the back of the net for the would-be game-winner. 

2nd Half | Down at the break, the Panthers began the second half with a revitalized feeling as they wanted to avoid losing on Senior Night. Tampa was prepared for the offensive attack and held them at bay. After FIT began to slow down, UT returned the favor and pressured them on their end of the field as the Spartans looked to extend their lead. The two teams took turns trying to attack down the sidelines but neither side was able to get any real threat on the goalkeepers as the final third was a mix of players fighting for possession. With just over 10 minutes left in the game, Alex Jackson had a chance to put the game away on a counter but the goalie came out of her goal and Jacksons shot went just wide of the goal. After that, Tampa was able to see the game out and earn a crucial three points on the road as the season reaches its final week of the regular season.

INSIDE THE STATS:
• The two teams combined for 29 shots, with FIT having a slight 15-14 edge.  
• Frykgard totaled seven saves in the match. 
• A closely contested match ended with 26 fouls called.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
• Gonzalez is the ninth different Spartan to score this season.

UP NEXT: The team will be back home for its final home game of the regular season this coming Wednesday when they host the Saint Leo University Lions. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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