SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women’s soccer team (15-4) advanced to the semifinal round of the SSC Tournament with a 2-1 overtime win over the Lynn University Fighting Knights (10-6-2), Tuesday night at University Field.
After the Lions surrendered the first goal of the match in the sixth minute, Freshman Pia Soesemann tied the contest at one, delivering her 12th goal of the season. Sophomore Chrissy Darwell turned in the game-winner for the Lions, posting her 13th goal of the season off a corner kick in the first overtime.
The Lions opened up the match in sluggish fashion, and soon faced a 1-0 deficit. A careless foul in the sixth minute gave the Knights a prime scoring opportunity in the elimination match. Lynn made the best of their chance as the cross off the Lynn free kick sailed across the box into the chest of a Knight attacker, where it was settled and sent into the back of the net.
SLU continued to play in their hypnotic state, entering the locker room down 1-0.
The Lions began to show signs of life at the beginning of the second half, pressuring Lynn right out of the tunnel. The fog completely lifted in the 59th minute as Soesemann hit the back of the net for her 28th point of the season. Ana Davila dribbled up the right wing sending a ball to Soesemann standing alone at the top of the box. The forward settled the ball down and delivered a strike over the Knights ‘keepers head, equalizing the match.
Saint Leo maintained the momentum for much of the second half, outshooting Lynn 7 to 5. Still, the Lions could not secure the victory before heading into overtime.
Eight minutes into sudden death, Lions offensive pressure forced a corner kick on the right far sideline. Midfielder Courtney Kassab proceeded to send an excellent pass across the box to the near post where Darwell soared above her opponent and headed the ball into the lower left part of the net sending the Fighting Knights home.
The Lions posted 13 total shots, while the visitors had 14. Saint Leo also posted one more corner kick than the Knights, 7 to 6.
Lauren Hudson made ten saves in the match while improving to 14-4 on the campaign.
The victory propels the Lions into a semifinal showdown with the No.1 seeded and newly crowned SSC regular season champions, Rollins College on Friday, November 7. The Lions suffered one of their three SSC defeats to the Tars on November 2, falling 1-0. The match is set to begin at 7:00 pm from Winter Park, Fla. with the winner advancing to the final round.