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Overtime Loss Ends Soccer Season

The first home loss for the University of Tampa men’s soccer team ended the season in the NCAA semifinals. Ninth ranked Cal. State Dominuez Hills (24-2-4) advanced passed the Spartans (18-4-1) off an overtime header by the Toros’ Scott Marino.

The last two times UT has hosted the Final Four, the Spartans have won the national championship. Head coach Adrian Bush played in the 1994 title game that started the streak.

‘I don’t think there is anything you could do about the goals tonight,’ Bush said. ‘You can’t fault the effort of our guys. I’m proud of who they are as people, no one can take away what they’ve achieved.’

The squad will only graduate two starters. Senior midfielder Ryan Maxwell struck early for UT, scoring the opening goal in the first 20 seconds.

The first home loss for the University of Tampa men’s soccer team ended the season in the NCAA semifinals. Ninth ranked Cal. State Dominuez Hills (24-2-4) advanced passed the Spartans (18-4-1) off an overtime header by the Toros’ Scott Marino.

The last two times UT has hosted the Final Four, the Spartans have won the national championship. Head coach Adrian Bush played in the 1994 title game that started the streak.

‘I don’t think there is anything you could do about the goals tonight,’ Bush said. ‘You can’t fault the effort of our guys. I’m proud of who they are as people, no one can take away what they’ve achieved.’

The squad will only graduate two starters. Senior midfielder Ryan Maxwell struck early for UT, scoring the opening goal in the first 20 seconds.

‘We’ve got a really young team,’ he said. ‘It’s been a pleasure playing here under Coach Bush.’

Tampa’s leading scorer Pascal Milien, who suffered a sprained shoulder in the previous game against Tusculum, also battled cramps on the field.

‘It was all in my head most of the time. The pain don’t go away so you’ve got to take it.’ Milien said.

The Spartans entered the half with a 2-1 edge. Much like Tampa had started though, Cal. State knotted the score in the first minute of the second half. The teams played evenly until time expired.

UT recaptured the momentum in golden goal overtime when the crossbar deflected Mike Bethel’s shot off Milien’s cross. However, much like they had done all game, the Toro’s successfully answered ending the game four and a half minutes into the extra play.

‘We can use this as a learning experience,’ Tampa goalkeeper Ryan Thompson said. ‘It’s soccer. It’s a beautiful sport.’

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