Minneci’s Career Day Helps Lions Top Tampa, 14-10

Saint Leo Takes Down Spartans for Eighth Win of the Season

TAMPA, Fla. – Junior midfielder Christina Minneci tallied a career high four goals but didn't stop there, adding three assists for a new personal best in points with seven, as she helped the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team defeat the University of Tampa Spartans by a final score of 14-10 on Friday evening at Naimoli Family Stadium.

The win advances the Lions to a record of 8-4, while the Spartans drop to a mark of 6-8 on the season.

Behind Minneci's game leading four goals, Joanna Chadwick tallied a hat trick, while Alix Murray and Allie Sheftall each scored twice.  A balanced attack helped lift the Green and Gold over the Spartans, as Bethanny Jolly, Emily Pittenger, and Caroline Fraser each netted one.  Jolly and Fraser added an assist apiece, as well.

The Spartans were led by Amanda Voges and Jackie Martin, who both scored three goals on the night.  Maggie Griffo matched her teammates in points, scoring two goals and adding an assist.  Martin dished out two assists for a team high five points.

Brittany Millsap allowed four goals but did not earn a save in 30 minutes of play in cage for Saint Leo.  Kaylyn Kearns closed out the game between the pipes for the Green and Gold, making seven saves while allowing six shots to slip past her on 13 shots faced.  Their counterpart for Tampa, Wylie Cassidy, earned 10 saves while allowing 14 goals while facing 33 total shots from the Lions.

Saint Leo opened up the flood gates just 35 seconds into the game with Murray scoring an unassisted goal.  Murray's goal kicked off a scoring streak for the Lions that saw them pull ahead to a 4-0 lead with 13:13 to go before the half, but two quick goals from Tampa, including a man-up goal by Griffo with 9:54 on the clock cut the Spartans' deficit in half.

Saint Leo answered back with two more, pulling back out to a four goal lead with 7:40 on the clock, but Tampa retaliated with two more by Martin within 16 seconds of each other to set the score at 6-4 in favor of Saint Leo.  Sheftall netted the last goal of the half on a free-position shot with 4:13 to go in the first half, setting the score at 7-4 at the break.

Both teams traded blows to open the second period, but two straight by Saint Leo pulled the Lions ahead to a five goal lead, 10-5, with 23:07 left in the game.  It was a back and forth battle over the ensuing 10 minutes, with Tampa outscoring Saint Leo 2-1 to set the scoreboard at 11-7 with 11:48 left, but a three goal run by the Lions advanced the lead to 14-7 with 2:55 left.

Despite Tampa's best efforts to spark a comeback with three goals in the final 1:29 of the game, the Spartans were unable to overcome the Lions, giving Saint Leo its eighth win of the season.

The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team returns to action on Sunday, April 6, when they host No. 10 Lindenwood.  Game time against the Lions is set for noon.  Fans will be able to catch all of the action live on the Saint Leo Sports Network at SaintLeoLions.com.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.