Lions fall to Tampa in non-region match

Senior midfielder Stacey Webber attempts to break away from a defender against Tampa Sept. 11. The Lions fell to 1-3 on the season after a 2-1 loss to the Spartans.

by Sports Editor Andrew Fulmer

After a double overtime win against Nova Southeastern University, the UNA soccer team fell to the Tampa Spartans, 2-1, closing out the 2016 Lion Shootout tournament in Florence.

After a strong first period, the Lions suffered from second-half miscues and could never recover from the 2-1 deficit.

“We just have to quit making mistakes,” said UNA head coach Chris Walker. “We have to get healthy again. We still have one or two players to get healthy, and we cannot blame (the loss on) that. We just have to compete more.”

The first period stats appeared even, as both exchanged goals to enter halftime tied 1-1. The Lions offense took seven shots in the first period with five shots on goal.

After falling behind 1-0 on a quick Tampa goal, junior midfielder Kristen Sinden scored her first goal of the season for UNA at the 28:54 mark, giving the Lions an equalizer.

The second period would be a different story for UNA offensively, as it had four shots, none of which were on target.

“It is just a matter of decision making,” Walker said. “Somebody just needs to get a hold of (the ball) and go score a goal.”

Tampa scored what would be the winning goal just two minutes into the second period off a corner kick, as the Spartans finished with 12 corner opportunities.

The Lions had seven corners in the match, but could not take advantage.

“I thought we had good moments,” said sophomore midfielder Paige Porter. “But I think, as a team, we need to take advantage of our opportunities and play more consistently.”

The Lions begin Gulf South Conference play Sept. 14 as they face Shorter in Rome, Georgia.