LAKELAND, Fla. –For the first time in program history, the University of Tampa Spartans have earned the title Sunshine State Conference Champions. The No. 6 Spartans earn this title after upsetting the No. 5 Florida Southern College Moccasins in overtime in the SSC Championship game by a final score of 19-18. Five Spartans earned a spot on the SSC All-Championship team. Carly Vaccaro was named tournament MVP, while Claire Swanson, Caroline Forester, Abby Cocccagna, and Bridget Sutter were named All-SSC Championship team selections.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: No. 6 Tampa Spartans 19, No. 5 Florida Southern Moccasins 18
Records: Tampa (14-3), Florida Southern (16-3)
Location: Barnett Athletic Complex | Lakeland, Fla.
All-time Series: The Moccasins lead the all-time series over the Spartans 7-2.
Follow Us: @TampaSpartans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Moccasins were the first team to score in the first minute of the contest.
- However, Caroline Forester answered with a goal less than a minute later.
- FSC netted their second off a free position attempt.
- UT then scored back-to-back goals from Kristyn Staley and Claire Swanson.
- Southern then scored two more taking the 4-3 advantage.
- The Spartans responded with a goal from freshman Lizzie Pierpont off the assist by Kayla Kosubinsky.
- UT then took the lead 5-4 with a goal by junior Carly Vaccaro.
- Once again, the Moccasins answered with two more goals regaining the advantage.
- Rachel Crawford then tied the game at 6 off a free position attempt.
- With 14:24 left in the first half, FSC scored their last goal of the first period.
- The University of Tampa then went on a seven-goal scoring run.
- Staley netted the first one off the pass from Maggie Gladden, before Gladden herself earned a goal off a free position attempt.
- Forster then netted her second of the day off the assist by Kosubinsky.
- Kosubinsky and Swanson then scored quick back-to-back goals to give Tampa the 12-7 lead.
- The Spartans final goal of the first half was netted by Forester off the assist by Kosubinsky.
- Heading into halftime, the Spartans led the Moccasins 13-7.
- Florida Southern started the second half well rested with two quick goals.
- Once again, senior captain Caroline Forster was the first Spartan to sink one for UT.
- FSC then scored three before Carly Vaccaro netted one off the pass by Claire Swanson.
- Florida Southern then scored three more goals to tie the game at 15.
- Finally, Tampa took the two-point advantage with goals by Staley and Swanson.
- Southern tied the game with back-to-back goals from Benedetto.
- Maggie Gladden scored the Spartans final goal of the period off the free position attempt.
- With :05 on the clock, the Moccasins tied the game at 18 sending the game into OT.
- With 2:52 remaining in the SSC Championship, junior Carly Vaccaro sealed the Spartans first ever SSC Championship title with an unassisted goal.
- The No. 6 University of Tampa Spartans defeated the No. 5 Florida Southern College Moccasins by a final score of 19-18.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Caroline Forester powered the Spartans offense with a whopping four goals.
- Following Forester's efforts was that of Carly Vaccaro, Claire Swanson, and Kristyn Staley who all earned three goals in the contest.
- Swanson also stated one assist, a team-high of nine draw controls, two caused turnovers, and four ground balls.
- Kayla Kosubinsky earned one UT goal in addition to having a team high of four assists.
- Maggie Gladden had two goals and one assist in the contest.
- Defensively, Sarah Bell, Alexa Scudillo, Danielle Waters, and Allie Popelar all earned a caused turnover.
- Abby Coccagna and Allie Popelar each tallied two ground balls.
- Bridget Sutter played the entire game at goalkeeper for the Spartans. Sutter faced 32 shots and recorded 14 saves.
UP NEXT: The NCAA DII women's lacrosse selection show will take place on Sunday, May 5th. The selection show will determine the details of Tampa's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
TAMPA SPARTANS MOBILE APP: A free app is also available for free download through Apple and Google Play stores. Please search for Tampa Spartans Front Row.
RECEIVE TEXT AND EMAIL ALERTS:
UT also offers free messaging service for text and/or email, which sends alerts and press releases for Spartan teams. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.