Spartans Fall to No.25 Sharks in Regular Season Finale

Spartans Fall to No.25 Sharks in Regular Season Finale

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's soccer team closed out the regular season slate on the road at No. 25 Nova Southeastern University. The Sharks scored on two set pieces to win the game. The Spartans will now head into the Sunshine State Conference Tournament as the 5th seed on the road with the opponent to be determined based on tomorrow's final round of conference games.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 0 , Nova Southeastern 2
Records: Spartans (7-6-2, 4-5-1 SSC), #25 Sharks (12-3-1, 8-1-1 SSC)
Location: NSU Soccer Complex | Fort Lauderdale , Fla.

All-time Series: Tampa leads the all-time series against Saint Leo 15-6-3.

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HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | The first half was a back and forth affair for the entire period as the two teams exchanged chances to attack. The speed was evident from both squads as they used the sidelines to play the ball up the field. However, the final third was a mystery zone for both sides as almost every attack ended in the ball either being played out of bounds and turned over to the other team or the defensive lines making tackles and interceptions before shots could be taken on goal. The Sharks had the first truly dangerous play of the game with seven minutes to go as a ball was crossed into the box and it eluded a charging Caroline Frykgard who slid across her area to try to get a hand on the ball but saw it skip past her and to the feet of the NSU attacker. The player could not get a good first touch and Miranda Gonzalez was there to clear the danger. Unluckily for the Spartans, two minutes later the home side took the lead as a ball crossed in off a corner kick was headed towards goal and pinged the crossbar coming back towards the middle of the box where it deflected off a UT players back and into the back of the net. The visitors picked up the pace as the first half came to a close coming close to posing a threat in the offensive third. 

2nd Half | The Spartans started the second half as they had finished the first, playing well in the midfield and trying to find a way past a packed back line of the Sharks that was able to do enough to stop the offensive pressure from reaching their goalkeeper. With just under half an hour to go in the game, Tampa had one of their best chances in the match. Trailing by the slim margin, Frykgard took control off another ball sent in from a corner to start a quick counter. With one booming kick, she sent the ball flying past the center circle over and ahead of Isabella Zapata who was in a race to the ball with the defender. The ball took a bounce near the top of the box and the defender was able to cause enough disturbance to end the opportunity as the ball went away from the goal. Nova Southeastern extended their lead shortly after on a penalty kick after a handball in the box. Despite down by two, the team kept up the pressure on the home team and developed their plays as they looked to keep their rhythm going and were unlucky to not come away with at least one goal.

INSIDE THE STATS:
• UT held a 15-9 edge in shots on the night over NSU
• The home team had a 6-3 advantage on corner kicks.
• Eight different players recorded at least one shot led by Libby Wissman's five. 

UP NEXT: The team will now turn their attention to the SSC Tournament that begins on Thursday. Tampa will be on the road as the fifth seed but will have to await the outcome of two games tomorrow afternoon to see who they will face in the quarterfinals.

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