No. 4 Tampa upended No. 2 Rollins 2-0 to claim the 2011 SSC Women's Soccer Championship title on Sunday.
No. 4 Tampa suprised No. 1 Saint Leo in the first semifinal on Friday, taking down the homestanding Lions by a 3-1 tally. Leo got on the board first when Pia Soesemann converted a cross from Alicia Schuering in the 14th minute. Brittan Spence knotted the match at 1-1 when she drove in a free kick from Shannon Walisch in the 23rd minute. From there, it was all Spartans. Megan Lawrence scored on a ball that deflected off the SLU keeper to put UT in front 2-1 in the 36th minute. Tampa tallied the insurance goal in the 83rd minute when Amber Pennybaker weaved from midfield and sent the ball into the net.
No. 2 Rollins controlled the second semifinal of the afternoon, turning back No. 3 Florida Tech 2-0. Allie Holly put the Tars ahead in the 12th minute, firing in a cross from Emma Jones. Azure Dorsey scored what proved to be the final goal of the day in the 33rd minute off a pass from Ashley Waplinger. Tech keeper Mist Eliasdottir made eight saves, as the Tars battered the Panther defense with 10 shots on goal.
Ann-Marie Helgestad headed in a free kick from Paula Lillsjo in the 77th minute to give No. 3 Florida Tech a hard-fought 1-0 win over No. 6 Nova Southeastern. The Panther defense was in lockdown mode, holding NSU to just four shots overall, only one of which was on frame. Tech, on the other hand, fired off eight shots on goal, and Shark keeper Chrissy Hy had a valiant effort in goal, making seven saves to keep the game close.
All the scoring in the match between No. 4 Tampa and No. 5 Lynn came in the opening minutes of play, with the Spartans holding on for a 2-1 win. UT took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute when Samantha Kay found the back of the net. Lauren Impey tied things at 1-1 in the 16th minute off a free kick from Lynn teammate Lauren Handley. UT's Lauren Moore drove in an unassisted goal that proved to be the game-winner just a minute later. The Tampa defense was stifling all night, holding Lynn to just two shots on goal. Lynn freshman GK Megan Dolan faced 11 shots on frame and made nine saves for Lynn to keep the Knights within striking distance.
With a 1-0 win at Tampa on Thursday, Saint Leo (15-1-1, 7-0-1 SSC) tallied 22 points in conference play to secure the SSC regular-season title and the No. 1 seed for the SSC Championship. The Lions will receive a quarterfinal bye.
Rollins (13-1-2, 7-1 SSC) collected 21 points on the season to secure the No. 2 seed and the other quarterfinal bye.
Florida Tech (10-3-1, 4-3-1 SSC) received the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Nova Southeastern (9-4-2, 3-3-2 SSC) in a quarterfinal match on Tuesday. The Sharks posted 11 points on the season. The winner of Tuesday’s tilt will advance to the semifinals to face No. 2 Rollins.
Both Tech and Tampa (10-5-2, 4-3-1 SSC) recorded 13 points in SSC competition. The teams battled to a scoreless tie when they met in their regular-season match. Florida Tech won the No. 3 seed by virtue of posting a +5 goal differential in SSC matches. Tampa registered a +4 differential in conference competition.
No. 4 Tampa will entertain No. 5 Lynn (9-5-1, 4-4 SSC) in Tuesday’s other quarterfinal. The Knights concluded the regular-season with 12 points against SSC opponents. The winner of the showdown will advance to a semifinal date with top-seeded Saint Leo.
Chrissy Hy, Nova Southeastern
Lauren Impey, Lynn
Pia Soesemann, Saint Leo
Ann-Marie Helgastad, Florida Tech
Azure Dorsey, Rollins
Allie Holly, Rollins
Ashley Waplinger, Rollins
Megan Lawrence, Tampa
Courtney Peffley, Tampa
Lauren Moore, Tampa
Most Outstanding Player – Emilie Karstrom, Tampa
2011 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE WOMEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, Nov. 1
No. 3 Florida Tech 1, No. 6 Nova Southeastern 0 (Box Score)
No. 4 Tampa 2, No. 5 Lynn 1 (Box Score)
Semifinals – Friday, Nov. 4 (Hosted by Saint Leo) | SLU Host Site
No. 4 Tampa 3, No. 1 Saint Leo 1 (Box Score)
No. 2 Rollins 2, No. 3 Florida Tech 0 (Box Score)
Final – Sunday, Nov. 6 (Hosted by Saint Leo) | SLU Host Site
No. 4 Tampa 2, No. 2 Rollins 0 (Box Score)