SAINT LEO, Fla. – It was a back-and-forth contest typical of two Sunshine State Conference teams, but when the dust settled, the Saint Leo women's soccer team had secured a nail-biting 4-3 win over the Nova Southeastern Sharks in NCAA South Region competition on Wednesday night.
In a win that Head Coach Ged O'Connor may be able to look back upon as a season-defining victory, the Lions trailed their guests from Ft. Lauderdale by a lone goal with just eight minutes left to play. At that point, the Saint Leo (5-3) offense roared to life when Saffron Jordan punched home a Stephanie Marran pass in the 85th minute to knot the score at three. Just two minutes later, freshman standout Arielle Kabangu slotted home a Kristin Nerman cross for her third goal of the night.
Suddenly, it was the Lions with the advantage as they held off the Sharks for the remaining minutes to seal a thrilling victory.
This marks the second straight contest that Kabangu has touched the back of the net three times as she posted a hat trick against Eckerd on Saturday.
In goal for Saint Leo, Abby Evans was tested regularly, finishing the full 90 minutes with four saves while surrendering three goals. She improves her overall record to 5-3 in 2013.
Sandra Rolon picked up the loss in goal for Nova Southeastern (4-4) behind a five save effort.
The Lions will now look towards a week of rest before welcoming Lynn University into University Field next Wednesday. The Lions and Fighting Knights will kick off at 7:00 p.m. in the first Sunshine State Conference contest of 2013.
For the latest news, updates, and information on Saint Leo Women's Soccer, 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.