Brittan Spence connected on the second half game-winner to move UT to the regional final.
Brittan Spence connected on the second half game-winner to move UT to the regional final.

Tampa Continues NCAA Tournament Success With Mastery of Rollins

Box Score

WINTER PARK, Fla. – The No. 19 University of Tampa (15-5-2) women’s soccer team won its fifth straight match to advance to the NCAA Division II South Region Finals, defeating host and No. 11 Rollins College (15-3-2) by a 2-0 score on Sunday afternoon.

"I'm delighted for the senior class who have put in so much effort to our program," says head coach Gerry Lucey. "They epitimize what we are about in terms of their tireless work, dedication to one another and playing for the team. Brittan Spence was deserving of the game winner because she gets herself into positions where it's easy for the team to find her. She creates havoc with her energy too."

The victory also went down as head coach Gerry Lucey’s 70th win at Tampa, moving him into sole possession of first place as the winningest coach in program history.

Following a scoreless first half, the Spartan offense notched a pair of second half goals to move the squad to the next round in the tournament. Senior Brittan Spence scored the first UT goal of the afternoon with a 56th minute goal on a header off a free kick by defender Shannon Walisch.

The Spartans added another goal, which was icing on the cake as freshman Lauren Moore scored her third goal in as many games. The 69th minute goal was via a Marta Bertsos corner kick. Moore has now scored at least one point in five consecutive matches, all being postseason affairs.

"Coming off a hard fought win on Friday night against a tough UNA team this was an exceptional performance against a team that was rested," says Lucey. "We weren't able to play our usual passing game but felt we could win this game on counter attacks or a set piece. Fortunately we found a way to score two quality goals and it's nice to see that finally our work on the practice field is paying off on set pieces."

Goalkeeper Emelie Karstrom registered her third straight shutout and number-nine of the 2011 season as the sophomore turned away six shots on goal by the Tars.

"Samantha Kay has been a huge influence on our midfield and she proved to be resilient again," comments Lucey. "Her never say die attitude is infectious. Lauren Moore has been getting some very important goals of late and has settled well into college soccer."

The Spartans finished the contest with seven shots, including four on target. UT also held a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal.

Tampa will now meet the winner of Sunday’s matchup between Saint Leo University and Lynn University in the NCAA South Region title game. The match is scheduled for Friday, with the winner advancing to meet the Southeast Region champion on Sunday with the winner moving on to the Final Four in Pensacola, Fla.

"We go into next weekend against a strong Lynn team and expect another battle on our hands," concludes Lucey. "We will hopefully get the team prepared this week to face our final conference for for the year. Lynn has proven to be a difficult side to play against this season and we expect another tight game on Friday."

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