SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo junior forward Chrissy Darwell found the back of the net just 69 seconds into their Sunshine State Conference quarterfinal round match against Nova Southeastern University as she provided the only scoring in the Lions’ 1-0 win over the Sharks on Tuesday night from a rowdy and cool University Field.
The only score of the match came before most fans had found their seats as Ana Davila found Hannah Beard on the left side of the box. Beard managed to turn her defender and slotted the ball even with the left-side edge of the area where Darwell pushed it across the face of goal and into the net.
The Saint Leo offense was firing on almost all cylinders as they peppered five shots toward goal in the first half, most coming in one-on-one opportunities against Nova Southeastern’s ‘keeper Sarah Glass where the Lions could not get the ball between the posts.
As many shots as the offense was providing, the SLU defense was equally up to the challenge as they kept the Sharks from generating many opportunities throughout the contest. Through the 90 minute regulation, the Saint Leo back four of Davila, Dari Alcantara, Francesca Williams and Kelli Jones, along with goalkeeper Cristina Coca, only surrendered one shot on goal to the visitors from Ft. Lauderdale.
The Lions ended the Nova Southeastern season as they were able to withstand a flurry of desperation attempts in the final five minutes to move into the semifinal round.
Statistically, the Lions held the advantage in every category except for saves as they outshot the visitors 12-to-3 and had four corners to NSU’s two.
Coca, who posted her third clean sheet of the season, made just one save in the match, coming in the 61st minute.
The Lions now move into the semifinal round of the SSC Tournament where they will travel to Winter Park and face host and top-seed Rollins on Friday night.