Tampa Advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals in Back to Back Seasons. Face Florida Southern Today With the Winner Advancing To The Next Round.

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LAKELAND, Fla. – After clinching their first-round win over Lynn, the University of Tampa Spartans advance to the quarterfinals of the 2024 NCAA Division II Tournament. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

As they stepped onto the field for the opening draw control, the Spartans anticipated another closely contested matchup against the Fighting Knights. During the first five minutes, both teams made several attempts, but it was Tampa who struck first as junior midfielder Sophi Wrisk scored off a pass from Peyton Howell. The Spartans maintained their one-goal lead until the 3:18 mark when the Fighting Knights scored the equalizer. With the score tied at 1-1 and a few minutes remaining in the first quarter, Cece Colombo and Georgia Glowaki made efforts to regain the lead for Tampa. However, the Spartans were unable to notch another goal, forcing them to head into the second quarter with the score still tied. 

Lynn re-entered the field with renewed determination as Mallory Jarka swiftly found the net within two minutes of the second quarter, giving Lynn the lead for the first time in the game. Shortly after, Jarka added another goal, extending the Fighting Knights’ lead to 3-1. Momentum started to shift back into Tampa’s favor when Wrisk capitalized on back-to-back scoring opportunities that were supported by Cece Colombo and Allie Peebles. At the 4:51 mark, Howell netted her first goal of the day, putting Tampa back in the lead at 4-3. The Fighting Knights retaliated swiftly, equalizing the score on the following possession, but Tampa responded with a man-up goal from Jenna Myhal to reclaim the lead once again. With less than five seconds remaining in the half, Tampa seized one final opportunity with a free position attempt which Wrisk capitalized on as she ripped a shot past Lynn’s goalie, securing her fourth goal of the match.

During the third quarter, the Fighting Knights notched three consecutive goals within five minutes. Despite this surge, the Spartans remained composed and a few plays later, Cece Colombo delivered a pass to Wrisk near the goal, allowing her to quickly score and tie the game at 7-7. Lynn managed to add another goal, but Tampa quickly responded as Howell scored the equalizer, squashing Lynn’s advantage before the end of the period. The fourth quarter saw Lynn recapture the lead for the final time in the match as Diane Dohler found the back of the net. At the 13:15 mark, Myhal secured her second goal of the game from the free position spot, leveling the score at 9-9. Moments later, Wrisk, who was no stranger to the net, secured her sixth goal of the match with an assist from Howell. As Tampa continued to apply pressure offensively, Riley McGettigan managed to find a gap in Lynn’s defense to score, extending Tampa’s lead by two. In the closing minutes of the match, the Fighting Knights were able to notch another goal, but it was Tampa who emerged victorious with a final score of 11-10.

Stat of the Game – Sophi Wrisk achieved a personal milestone by recording a career-high in goals scored during a game, finding the back of the net six times.

TAMPA POST-GAME NOTES 

  • The Spartans are moving onto the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Tournament. 
  • Alex Walling recorded a total of 7 saves. 
  • UT won the draw control battle, 15-9.
  • Sophi Wrisk led the Spartans in goals (6). 
  • Tampa caused 9 turnovers and won 19 groundballs.  

UP NEXT – The Tampa Spartans will prepare for their next postseason matchup against conference foe, Florida Southern Moccasins, this Saturday at noon.