SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo University women’s soccer team dropped their Sunshine State Conference home opener, as they fell 3-0 to the University of Tampa Spartans on Tuesday night at University Field. 

The Lions offense had its chances but Tampa goalie Kendall Bourdon managed to wrap up the five Lion shots on goal. Junior forward Hannah Beard (Liverpool, England) led the way with five shots for the Lions and ripping two crossbar shots on goal. Stacey Rodwell, Malloree Enoch and Chrissy Darwell each added a shot in the loss.  The Spartans struck one in the first half and twice in the second to claim the victory.

After Tampa opened the scoring in the 16th minute, the Lions put together one of their best chances to score on the evening. Beard beat her defender and raced in on-goal, ripping a shot that tipped off the UT keepers’ hand and against the crossbar. With just a half a minute left in the first half, another golden opportunity by Beard struck the crossbar once again. Both proved to be critical misses for the Lions.

The Spartans opened the second half on roll and surprised the Lions their second goal just 40 seconds out of the gate. The physical play of the game increased after the goal, as there were two yellow cards issued to each team. The biggest loss of the evening came in 54th minute when Darwell received a red card, resulting from physical play in the midfield.

The Lions played hard with one man down the rest of the match and outshot the Spartans 5-3 in the final minutes of the match.  Unfortunately for the Lions one of the visitor’s three shots escaped the grasps of Hudson in the 71st minute, giving the Spartans the eventual final goal of the evening. 

The Lions outshot Tampa 12-10 on the evening, but UT made Lions’ ‘keeper Hudson work hard in goal, ripping six shots her way.  There were 21 total fouls in the match including three yellows and the critical red card.

The Lions return to conference action Saturday, September 27 with a showdown against   No.18 Florida Tech. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.  The game is also scheduled to broadcast live on the SaintLeoLions Audiocast Network.