SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women’ soccer team (6-3-1, 3-3-0 SSC) dropped a 4-1 decision to the Florida Southern College Moccasins (10-5-1, 6-1-0 SSC) in Sunshine State Conference action Saturday evening, from a chilly University Field.
On what was the final regular season game for three Lions’ seniors, Saint Leo took early command of the game. Reigning SSC Player of the Week, Pia Soesemann broke through in the 35th-minute scoring her seventh goal of the year on a feed from senior Sara Macko. Unfortunately, the Moccasins quickly tied the game in the 43rd-minute and took the lead just two minutes after the second half began. The opponents from Lakeland, Fla. sealed the deal with two goals in the final five minutes of the match.
Senior night took to a good start for SLU. As the two teams generated multiple scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes, it was the persistent pressure from Soesemann that gave the Lions the early advantage. Soesemann received a tremendous pass from Macko at the right of the 18-yard box. Soesemann, in stride, settled the ball at her foot and ripped a shot into the upper left part of the net to give Saint Leo the early lead.
Eight minutes later it was the Florida Southern offense that broke through to tie the game. With just under three minutes remaining in the first half the Mocs’ Alex Hoover sent a free ball from the far touchline over the defense into the 6yd area where Renee Heacock headed the ball in. The game took to halftime with the score tied at one goal apiece.
Out of the break, both teams continued to generate chances but it was FSC who scored the third goal of the game. Lexie Bottomley connected with Hanna Jansson on a free ball to put the Mocs up 2-1 in the 48th-minute; there second goal in a five minute span.
The Lions refused to quit though as they continued to pepper the Southern ‘keeper with shots. Still, the Mocs’ Martina Tangen proved to be up to the test making her final three saves of the game. Despite the 4-1 final decision, the game was relatively close with both teams generating scoring chances. However, Florida Southern expanded their lead to 3-1 in the 85th-minute on a Princess Haley breakaway goal; while Alex Hoover made it a three-goal advantage just one minute later, solidifying the conference win.
Both teams registered 15 shots on the evening, while Florida Southern held an 8-5 advantage in corner kicks.
Cristina Coca saved five shots on the evening as she fell to 3-3-1 overall.
Although the team has wrapped-up regular season action from University Field there are still three games left on their slate. The first of their three games comes Tuesday, October 20th when they travel to Melbourne, Fla. to take on nationally-ranked Florida Tech. Kick-off for the non-conference game is 4:00 p.m.