SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's soccer team saw its opportunity at another Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship dashed on Tuesday evening as the Lions dropped a 2-0 decision to Florida Tech in the Quarterfinal Round game at University Field.
A defensive struggle in the first half turned into a game where it looked as if the Lions (10-7) held the upper hand with some solid looks toward goal. In three consecutive possessions Saint Leo saw serious scoring chances with an Arielle Kabangu shot that sailed just wide of the post, a beautiful save by the Florida Tech keeper Julia Kantor and finally a Saffron Jordan free kick that sailed wide. It was after the Jordan opportunity that Florida Tech would score its first goal.
Kantor, playing solid in net, took the goal kick and managed to thread it up the middle of the field. One advantageous bounce and suddenly it was at the foot of midfielder Aubri Williamson with only Saint Leo goalkeeper Abby Evans between her and the Panthers' (11-5-1) first tally. Williamson would lob the ball over an advancing Evans to put the visitors from Melbourne, Fla. on the scoreboard in the 65th minute.
Fifteen minutes later the sophomore from Davie, Fla. would strike again for Florida Tech on a right-place, right-time goal as she picked up a deflection off of Evans and slotted it home for the 2-0 advantage.
Trying to register two goals in just 10 minutes proved to be an impossible task for the Lions as Kabangu and Fabienne Schwenk could not overcome a pesky Panther defense for any more looks toward goal.
The Panthers advance to the semifinal round of the SSC Championships where they will face top seed and tournament host Barry in Miami Shores on Friday.
Saint Leo concludes its 2013 season improving five spots from their previous season's finish. The Lions will look toward the offseason to welcome new players and prepare for the 2014 campaign.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo women's soccer team during the offseason, 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.