TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's soccer team extended their unbeaten run to the season as they beat the Eckerd College Tritons by a 1-0 margin on the road to open Sunshine State Conference play. The game-winner came early in the second half as Alexa Sheridan scored her first goal of the season to mark the difference in the match.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 1, Eckerd 0
Records: Spartans (4-0-1, 1-0 SSC), Tritons (1-3-0, 0-1 SSC)
Location: Johnson Field | St.Petersburg, Fla.
All-time Series: UT holds a 21-3-1 edge in the series over Eckerd and have won the last four games between the two groups.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | Both teams started the game slowly as they looked to get into a rhythm. The Spartans were the team to begin on the attacking front and were the ones to record the first shot of the night as Ali Robinson crossed a ball across the box that Sheridan met on the back post and hit on a volley but saw her attempt ricochet off the post and out. As the first half continued, Tampa saw more and more of the ball as Eckerd was content to sit back and play defense. The Spartans built on the possession but were unlucky as the final pass that would set them on goal continued to elude them. UT did keep up the pressure and they often used their speed up front to try to catch the Triton defense up on multiple counter attacks as they looked to break the scoring drought. Nastasia Asgedom had a great opportunity to open the scoring as she took a shot from the top of the box but it went over the crossbar over the keeper outstretched hand. With 10 minutes to go in the half, the home side had their best chance of the game as a ball bounced around in the box and an Eckerd attacker had a clear shot on goal but UT goalkeeper Caroline Frykgard was able to deflect it with her left hand and send it ricocheting off the crossbar and away from her goal.
2nd Half | The home team started the second half with a burst of energy as they pushed for the goal but Tampa was able to withstand the pressure. UT then answered the Eckerd attacks with their own push forward and it paid off. Robyn-Anne Whittaker laid off a ball for Sheridan near the top of the box on the right side and the defense gave her enough space for Sheridan to take a shot that curved across the goal and hit the inside of the left post just below the corner angle and went into the back of the net for what would end up being the difference maker. The Spartans kept holding onto the ball as they kept trying for a second goal but the Eckerd defense did just enough to keep it at the slim margin while looking to tie the match up. Eventually, Tampa was able to see out the remainder of the match without ever really being in danger of conceding a tying goal and held on for their fourth win of the season.
INSIDE THE STATS:
• Tampa and Eckerd both recorded 11 shots on the night. UT has recorded double-digit shots in every game this season.
• The Spartans recorded their first shutout of this season.
• The team held a 6-3 advantage on corner kicks, a category they have won in all five games this season.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
• Six different players have scored this season for Tampa.
• Six of the nine goals scored by the team have been assisted and the team is averaging just under two goals per game.
UP NEXT: The team will have a couple of days off before being back on the field at home this Saturday as they host Palm Beach Atlantic for their second SSC match.
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