Sixth-Ranked Lions Primed for Conference Clash with No. 24 Tampa
SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Women's Soccer team will attempt to keep its undefeated record in Sunshine State Conference play in check and claim its first-ever regular season conference championship Thursday night, when the Lions travel to the University of Tampa for a 7 p.m. conference clash. Fans will be able to catch all of the action live through audio, live stats, Facebook, and Twitter.
The Green and Gold makes the short trek south to square off against arch-rival Tampa with a record of 14-1-1, and an undefeated mark of 6-0-1 in SSC action. The Lions have outscored their opponents 46-13 so far this season, and have registered 39 assists for a total of 131 points.
Saint Leo currently ranks ninth in the nation in scoring offense, tallying 2.9 goals in a contest. Senior Dari Alcantara has helped put the Lions on the mark, notching 11 goals and five assists so far this season, and earning five game-winning goals. Alcantara ranks fourth in Division II in game-winning goals per game, and comes in at No. 16 in points per game, and 18th in goals per game.
The Lions' potent offense doesn't end at Alcantara, as Pia Soesemann and Cassie Barbaresi have put up big numbers this season as well. Despite missing six games due to injury, Soesemann ranks second on the team in goals scored collecting eight and adding three assists for 19 points, good for third on the team.
Barbaresi has been a constant support from the midfield, racking up seven goals and a team-high nine assists for 23 points overall. The Bradenton, Fla. native is 15th in DII in assists per game, and has helped the Lions come in at ninth out of 330 ranked teams with a won-lost-tied percentage of .906.
Freshman goalie Laura Carstens has allowed only seven goals in 14 starts, and has earned a save percentage of .870 so far this season.
The Spartans take to the pitch at Pepin Stadium in their final game of the season with a mark of 10-4-2, and 4-2-1 in conference play. Led by Jazmin Perry, who has scored nine goals and one assist for 19 points, the Lions have out-scored their opponents 42-11 in 16 games. Dishing out the assists is Gabby Russon, who has racked up 11. Russon adds four goals to her assist tally, matching Perry in points with 19.
Tampa enters into tonight's contest riding a four game win streak, but dropped contests to Rollins and Lynn earlier in the season. Saint Leo defeated the Tars and Fighting Knights by comfortable margins earlier in their campaign, and are unbeaten in conference play.
A victory tonight would clinch the regular season title for the Lions. Currently riding the conference standings in first place, the Green and Gold have already secured a spot in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament. While the Lions have brought home an SSC Tournament Title, they have never clinched the coveted regular season championship title. A victory tonight would to just that, and help the Lions mark a new first in the record books.
For the latest news, updates and information on the sixth-ranked Saint Leo women's soccer team, visit Saint Leo Lions.com.