Tampa, Fla. (October 17, 2007) – Jennifer O’Connor’s (Sr., Fernandina Beach, Fla.) penalty kick goal in the 45th minute gave the No. 19 Saint Leo University women’s soccer team (13-2, 6-1 SSC) a 1-0 win over the No. 3 University of Tampa (12-2-1, 4-1 SSC) on Wednesday night in a Sunshine State Conference match at Tampa’s Pepin Stadium.
The win was the Lions’ first-ever over the Spartans, stretching their program-record winning streak to 10 matches and moving them atop the SSC standings alone with one match remaining. The win also ended Tampa's 43-game unbeaten run at Pepin Stadium.
The Lions found the breakthrough goal with 1:00 left in the first half against the run of play. Chrissy Darwell (Fr., Cranston, R.I.) was fouled in the area after a driving run, resulting in a penalty. O’Connor stepped to the spot and drove a shot into the left corner to give Saint Leo a 1-0 lead at half-time.
Saint Leo made the lead stand in the second half with a solid defensive display. Saint Leo goalkeeper Lauren Hudson (Jr., Odessa, Fla.) made seven saves to record her fifth shutout of the season, and 19th of her career. The Lions’ back four of Ana Davila (So., Valrico, Fla.), Ginger Davenport (Sr., Bradenton, Fla.), Kristen Preseault (So., Bradenton, Fla.) and Kiki Day (Fr., Denver, Colo.) limited the Spartans to 12 shots on the night, most of which came from perimeter areas.
Saint Leo had probably the best scoring chance in the second half but an effort from Sara Macko (So., Valrico, Fla.) narrowly missed after she was played through from a long free kick by Hudson.
The Lions return home on Saturday to face St. Thomas University in the final home match of the 2007 season. The match will begin at 7:00 p.m. and the two Saint Leo seniors, O’Connor and Davenport will be honored prior to kick-off.
Saint Leo’s final SSC match of the season will be at Barry University on Saturday, October 27 in Miami Shores, Fla. A win in the final match versus Barry would guarantee the Lions at least a share of the 2007 Sunshine State Conference Championship and the top seed in the SSC Tournament.