LAKELAND, Fla. –For the first time in program history, the University of Tampa Spartans have earned the title Sunshine State Conference Champions. The No. 6 Spartans earn this title after upsetting the No. 5 Florida Southern College Moccasins in overtime in the SSC Championship game by a final score of 19-18. Five Spartans earned a spot on the SSC All-Championship team. Carly Vaccaro was named tournament MVP, while Claire Swanson, Caroline Forester, Abby Cocccagna, and Bridget Sutter were named All-SSC Championship team selections.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: No. 6 Tampa Spartans 19, No. 5 Florida Southern Moccasins 18
Records: Tampa (14-3), Florida Southern (16-3)
Location: Barnett Athletic Complex | Lakeland, Fla.
All-time Series: The Moccasins lead the all-time series over the Spartans 7-2.
Follow Us: @TampaSpartans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
INSIDE THE STATS:
The NCAA DII women’s lacrosse selection show will take place on Sunday, May 5th. The selection show will determine the details of Tampa’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
LAKELAND, FL – Florida Southern College women’s lacrosse erased a six-goal halftime deficit to send the 2019 Sunshine State Conference title game to overtime. Grace Glinecki tied the game at 18-18 before the Mocs (16-3) watched Tampa (14-3) put the winning goal in the back of the net just nine seconds into overtime.
Aubriana Benedetto led the Florida Southern offense with four goals on the afternoon. Marina Jozokos and Brenna Smith each added three goals, while Catherine DeKorte and Glinecki added two more goals each. Four additional Mocs found the back of the net.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• The two teams traded the games first four goals as Smith put the Mocs up 1-0 at the 29:09 mark of the first half. A. Benedetto responded to a Tampa goal with her first of four goals on the day. The Spartans would take its first lead as they put two past Patricia Werker in a 51-second span. Goals from Jozokos and Dani Bursinger put the Mocs back up 4-3 as the two scored 42-seconds apart. Lizzie Pierpont tied the game at 4-4 at the 20:48 mark of the first half before the tournaments eventual MVP, Carly Vaccaro put the Spartans up 5-4 through the first ten minutes of the game. Florida Southern would go on a 3-1 run as Glinecki tied the game at 5-5 before DeKorte put the Mocs back on top at 6-5. Rachel Crawford would take a free position shot and find the back of the net for a 6-6 tie. After being awarded her own free position shot, DeKorte tied the game at 7-7 at the 14:24 mark of the first half. That would be the last Moccasin goal of the first half as Tampa would close out the first half with a 7-0 run including a woman-down goal from Caroline Forester with 43 seconds remaining in the first half. The Mocs would head to the ten-minute break down for just the fourth time this season as Tampa led 13-7.
• The Mocs would open the second half with a pair of goals as Gracie Maganzini and Lizzy Lynch cut the Tampa lead to just four in the first 90-seconds. Forester would answer the Mocs goals with her fourth goal of the game to put the visitors up by five. The Mocs put pressure on the Spartans defense as Lynch assisted on goals from Bannatyne and A. Benedetto; Jozokos would take a feed from Sarah Grady to bring the Mocs within two. Tampa would add another goal to extend the lead to three. Florida Southern would answer with another 3-0 run as Jozokos took a feed from Maliah Benedetto to make it 15-13. Smith and Ashley Norberg would team up for the next two Moccasin goals to tie the game at 15-15 with 12:20 remaining in the second half. Tampa used goals from Kristyn Staley and Claire Swanson to take a 17-15 lead with 8:29 remaining in the half. After nearly four and half minutes of scoreless action A. Benedetto would tie the game at 17-17 as she put two past Bridget Sutter. After being awarded a free position attempt, Maggie Gladden bested Werker to put the Spartans up 18-17 with 23-seconds remaining in the half. A. Benedetto would pass on a free position attempt as she passed the ball to Glinecki who would make her way toward the goal and put the tying goal past Sutter with five seconds left in regulation. Bursinger would attempt to pass the ball to Jozokos who was waiting just a few feet from the goal as time expired sending the Mocs to its first overtime game this season and first since a 12-11 win over then-No. 10 Florida Tech on April 1, 2017.
• Forester would win the opening draw of overtime and pass it over to Vaccaro who ran past the Mocs defense and ended the game as she put the golden goal past Werker. Tampa would claim its first SSC tournament title.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern fell to 7-2 all-time against Tampa as both losses came this season. Florida Southern is now 2-1 all-time in SSC tournament action against the Spartans.
• Florida Southern won 21 of 40 draw controls.
• Florida Southern picked up 25 ground balls to 19 by Tampa. The Mocs were a perfect 18-18 on clear attempts as the Spartans were 19-for-24.
• The Mocs fired off a season-high 41 shots to 32 by the Spartans. Florida Southern caused 10 of the Spartans 15 turnovers.
• Florida Southern fell to 3-2 in the SSC title game and 7-2 in tournament action. Both of the Mocs losses came in overtime as they fell to Rollins 12-10 in the inaugural SSC title game in 2015.
• 19 goals allowed was one short of the most goals allowed in program history.
• Florida Southern will wait to see where it will head for the South region tournament. The Division II women’s lacrosse selection show is scheduled to air on NCAA.com at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.