TAMPA, Fla. – Despite the fact that there was no postseason hope for the Lions, the upset-minded Saint Leo men’s soccer team could not put together one final miracle as they ended their 2009 season on the wrong side of a 5-1 final score to the 9th-ranked University of Tampa Spartans from Pepin Stadium in Sunshine State Conference action on Thursday night.
Behind nearly 1,000 fans, most dressed in UT black, the Spartans used a Senior Night momentum to spin the scoreboard first as junior Lister Warren snuck behind the SLU defense and took a pass in stride where he blasted it past Saint Leo ‘keeper Erik Mozzo.
Despite the final score tilted heavily in the hosts favor, that Warren goal was the only tally for either team in the first 45 minutes, as all the scoring came in the final 41 minutes.
In the 49th minute, Tampa’s Karl Swan put a low shot past Mozzo to put UT up 2-0. Just under seven minutes later, Warren scored his second of the night as the Spartans began to hit their stride.
Within a five minute span, Tampa tallied two more goals including Warren’s third, which completing his hat trick against the Lions.
Saint Leo finally broke through in the 84th minute when junior Jonathan Glenn beat the Tampa defense to bring the score to 5-1, but it was too-little, too-late as the Spartans took away the win.
Mozzo finished the contest with 13 saves for Saint Leo while senior Ryan Thompson finished with four in the game, stopping each of the shots he faced before surrendering ‘keeper duties to Clete Goddard who gave up Glenn’s tally.
The Lions conclude their season as they will not qualify for the Sunshine State Conference Tournament beginning on Tuesday. Saint Leo will finish the 2009 season in eighth place in the SSC and bid farewell to seniors Leonardo Nogueira, Daniel Asher and Kareem Doherty, who have all wrapped up their four-year careers in the Green & Gold.