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Tampa Women Hold Off 2ndH Rally to take the 11-9 Win over FSC for 1st D2 FF Berth, G. Colombo 3G/1A, Hinkle 3G, Howell 2G/3A for UT, McFerren/Gorrasi 3G/1A Each for FSC, 14-8 DC’s vs 17 CTO’s for Mocs,-Both Recaps

via the school press releases/websites


Tampa Rewrites History, Punches Ticket to First Ever NCAA Final Four

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Tampa Spartans make history by overcoming the Florida Southern Moccasins in the quarterfinals of the 2024 NCAA Division II Tournament.


The quarterfinal clash between Tampa and Florida Southern was poised to determine which team could effectively convert their possessions into scoring chances. Despite Florida Southern striking first, Tampa swiftly responded on their next possession as Peyton Howell dumped the ball inside to Sarah Hinklewho netted the equalizer. Moments later, Gracie Colombo captured the lead for Tampa as Howell found her making a run on the inside to capitalize on another scoring opportunity. The Spartans were not done yet as Jenna Myhal would set up Sophi Wrisk, who fired a shot past the Moc’s goalie to extend Tampa’s advantage by two. With six seconds still left in the first quarter, Howell made her way through Florida Southern’s defense to score, with the assist going to Allie Peebles. On the other end of the field, Tampa fended off any further scoring opportunities by Florida Southern as Alex Walling stood tall in the cage, making three saves.  

Tampa’s momentum continued into the second quarter as Hinkle found the back of the net off a Cece Colombo pass within the opening minute. A few plays later, Gracie Colombo would set up Hinkle on the right side of the cage for her third goal of the match, making Hinkle the first Spartan to achieve a hat trick. As the Moccasins struggled to shut down the Spartans’ attack on the inside, Howell connected with Gracie Colombo to score and widen Tampa’s lead to 7-1. Florida Southern managed to add another goal before the water break, but Tampa maintained their momentum as Gracie Colombo secured herself hat trick off an unassisted goal. With mere seconds left in the first half, Myhal would get a shot off and found the back of the net to further extend Tampa’s lead to 9-2. 

In the third quarter, Florida Southern rallied back with three consecutive goals, narrowing in on Tampa’s lead. However, the Spartans remained composed and patient on the attack. Following a foul by Moc Harper MumaHowell scored from the free position spot, propelling the Spartans into double digits on the scoreboard. With a 10-5 advantage going into the final quarter, Myhal secured her second goal unassisted. Florida Southern started to slowly mount a gradual comeback, scoring four consecutive goals. However, the Mocs couldn’t overcome the Spartans’ commanding lead. Ultimately, Tampa would win 11-9 securing their spot in the NCAA Semifinal.

Stat of the Game – Cece Colombo secures her place as the new all-time assists leader, notching her 96th career assist during today’s game.


  • The Spartans advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in program history. 
  • Alex Walling recorded a total of 7 saves. 
  • UT won the draw control battle, 14-8.
  • Sarah Hinkle and Gracie Colombo are the only Spartans to record a hat trick. 
  • Tampa caused 8 turnovers and won 19 groundballs.  

UP NEXT – The University of Tampa Spartans will play in the semifinals this Thursday in Winter Park, Fla. with the opponent and time to be announced. 


#6 Mocs Fall in the Quarterfinals to #3 Spartans

LAKELAND, Fla. – Despite outscoring No. 3 Tampa 7-3 in the second half and mounting a comeback, No. 6 Florida Southern dropped the NCAA Quarterfinal matchup to the Spartans 11-9 at Berend Field Saturday afternoon.
Florida Southern (16-5) scored seven of its nine goals in the second half to attempt a comeback including four goals in the fourth quarter. The Moccasins’ defense held Tampa (17-3) to just two goals in the second half, but the Spartans’ 9-2 lead at halftime proved to be the difference.
Abby McFerren and Sammy Gorrasi paced the Moccasins attack with three goals apiece while Madison Tare added two and Jackie Stoller one. All four players finished with at least an assist in the game as McFerren and Gorrasi finished the contest with four points adding one assist to their stat line. Stoller registered two assists as Tare had one, both finishing with three points.
Rylie Rittberg came in goal and played 35:29 allowing just four goals, making six stops in her relief appearance. McKenzie Gaghan got the nod and played the first 23:27 making one stop in the game.
Audrey Cannelli paced the team in caused turnovers with four while Olivia Gianakos and Lauryn Rygiel each tallied three groundballs for the team lead.
Tampa was led offensively by Sarah Hinkle and Gracie Colombo who each scored a hattrick in the win. Peyton Howell had a game-high five points on a pair of goals and three assists.
Alex Walling made seven stops in her 60 minutes of action. Cece Colombo had a game-high 10 draw controls in the Spartans’ efforts to win the draw battle 14-8.
It took two and a half minutes for either team to register a goal, as the Moccasins struck first with an Abby McFerren free-position goal to the top right corner. The Spartans would score the game’s next seven goals for a commanding 7-1 lead with over seven minutes to play in the second quarter.
Sammy Gorrasi would find a cutting Madison Tare as the Mocs cut the deficit to 7-2, but another pair of Spartan goals pushed it to 9-2 heading into the break.
Halftime adjustments allowed Florida Southern to come out and score three straight goals, a pair from Gorrasi and one from McFerren (9-5). Tampa would score back-to-back goals in the game, to close the third and open the fourth, reclaiming an 11-5 advantage.
With the game approaching less than 10 minutes to play, Florida Southern would score four goals up to the 1:28 mark to make it just a two-goal game. McFerren would find Stoller cutting down the middle of the field for a goal before scoring another one herself. Tare and Gorrasi would score in the run but time would run out as the Spartans advanced to the National Semifinals for the first time in program history, facing one of the other three teams after reseeding: Adelphi, East Stroudsburg, or Regis (CO).