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6-Goal Run to End the Half Lifts the Tampa Women to the 17-12 Win over Saint Leo in the SSC Semis; Wrisk 5G, G. Colombo 4G, Waters 5GBs/4CTOs lead Tampa, McLaughlin/Palumbo 3G each for Saint Leo – Both Recaps

Steinbrenner alums Natalie Jones and Zoey Lind 1G each for Saint Leo

via the school press releases/websites


Spartans Trounce Not So Dandy Lions

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa Women’s Lacrosse team is heading to the Sunshine State Conference Championship for the seventh time in program history. 


The first quarter saw instant domination by the Spartans as Sarah Hinkle would rip a shot past the Lions’ goalie to secure the first goal of the game. On a new possession, Jenna Myhal would win the draw control and off a fast break, would find Sophi Wrisk to nab a goal. Continuing their momentum, Tampa would score two consecutive, unassisted goals by Georgia Glowaki and Alyssa Romano respectively, giving the Spartans a 4-0 lead. At the 8:01 mark, the Lions would find the back of the net off a goal by Fiona McLaughlin. However, the Spartans were on a roll as Peyton Howell tacked on a solo goal 15 seconds later. Following suit, Gracie Colombo would get the ball and make her way to the inside, finding an opening and earning an unassisted goal. Trailing by 1-6, the Lions would start to build some energy as they would tally three consecutive goals before the end of the first quarter, with two of those netted by McLaughlin. 

Saint Leo carried the momentum from the first quarter into the start of the second as Lion Ava Valenti scored a goal in the top corner to cut the score to a one-goal deficit. With a new possession, Saint Leo would see an opportunity on the horizon as Spartan Isabella Avila would receive a yellow card, but it would be Tampa to seize the moment as Howell would drive her way past the Saint Leo defense and score a man-down goal. Still fighting to stay in the match, the Lions would secure a man-up goal in the final seconds of the penalty. However, in a similar fashion to the first period, Tampa would demonstrate their dominance and go on a six-goal scoring run. This included Gracie Colombo, who tallied half of the six goals netted and became the first Spartan of the day to earn a hat trick. Wrisk was another Spartan who took part in the action and tallied two of the six goals scored, securing herself her fifth hat trick of the season. 

After the break, Wrisk would kick things off as she netted her fourth goal of the game off a Hinkle pass, giving Tampa a 14-6 advantage. The Lions would answer back with two goals of their own, including one scored from the free position spot. At the 7:15 mark, Howell would tally her third goal of the day, making her the third and final Spartan to earn a hat trick. Trailing by seven, Saint Leo would continue to claw their way back in the match as they tacked on two more goals before the end of the period. The fourth quarter started with some back-and-forth action between the two teams as they each looked for opportunities to attack. At the 10:22 mark, Wrisk would net her fifth goal of the day (30th this season) from the free position spot, making her the games leading goal-scorer. The Lions would respond with back-to-back goals by Maria Palomba on the next two possessions, but they would do no harm as Cece Colombo would net her first goal of the day in the final two minutes of the match. The Spartans would win 17-12 against the Lions. 

Stat of the Game – Sarah Hinkle becomes the first Spartan for the Women’s Lacrosse program to reach 201 career points. 


  • Tampa is set to make its seventh appearance in the SSC Championship.
  • The Spartans improved to a 14-3 overall record this season. 
  • Gracie Colombo, Wriskand Howell would be the three Spartans to tally a hat trick in the game.  
  • UT went 16-20 on clears.
  • The Spartans would cause 10 turnovers and win 21 draw controls. 

UP NEXT – The Spartans will start their preparations for the 2024 Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championships that will take place this Sunday. 


#13 Women’s Lacrosse Falls 17-12 in SSC Semifinals at #5 Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. – The 13th-ranked Saint Leo University women’s lacrosse team suffered a tough defeat at the University of Tampa on Thursday afternoon in the second round of the 2024 Sunshine State Conference women’s lacrosse championships. Tampa used a 13-goal first half to put the Lions out of reach in a 17-12 Saint Leo loss. The Lions fall to 12-7 overall while Tampa improves to 15-3.

The Lions offense was paced by a trio of goals each from Fiona McLaughlin and Maria PalombaJana Nuss also recorded a multi-goal game. Jessica Harclerode made six saves. Marina Dean led the Lions with four draw controls and Palomba’s six ground balls was a game best.

(2) #5 Tampa 15, (3) #13 Saint Leo 10

  • Tampa got on the board early jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. McLaughlin got the Lions on the board at the eight-minute mark and after a pair of Spartan goals put the home team up 6-1, the Lions rallied. Over the final four minutes of the opening quarter Saint Leo used a pair of McLaughlin goals with a Jana Nuss goal sandwiched in between to cut the deficit to two goals.
  • Ava Valenti brought the Lions within one goal as she opened the second quarter with her lone score of the game. Following a down goal by the Spartans, Emma Hayhurst converted a women-up opportunity to bring deficit back to one. Tampa responded with a 6-0 run over the final 10 minutes of the first half to take a 13-6 lead into the halftime break.
  • Saint Leo out scored Tampa 4-2 in the third quarter. Back-to-back goals by Natalie Jones and Jana Nuss pulled the Lions deficit to 14-8. A pair of goals to close out the third quarter by Maria Palomba and Zoey Lind made it a 15-10 game, the smallest deficit for the Lions since late in the second quarter.
  • In the final quarter the Lions pressed but a strategic Spartan defense kept the Lions at bay as they managed a game-low five shots I the fourth quarter. Maria Palomba had both of the Lions goals in the fourth quarter.

The Lions are being considered by the committee for the NCAA regional and will find out their fate on the selection show on May 12.