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Spartans Disrupt Ranks as No. 1 Fighting Knights Fall

The No. 4 University of Tampa men’s soccer team trailed the No. 1 ranked Lynn University Fighting Knights 1-0 with just a few minutes to play in the game. In the 88th minute of the contest sophomore Ryan Griffin struck home his first goal of the season to tie the game 1-1. The goal came from a Dan Ingvarsson cross in front of the Lynn keeper, Alessandro Salvatorre. The game would stay tied, as regulation ended.

After the first 10-minute overtime period revealed nothing, Tampa and Lynn entered the second, decisive, 10-minute overtime period. At the 108th minute of the game National Player of the Year Candidate Pascal Milien knocked home his team leading fifth goal of the season, a ball that came from Greg O’Connor.

In the 39th minute of the contest the nation’s leading scorer, Paulo Vaz, was ejected after a straight red was dealt. While the call was questionable, it undoubtedly aided Tampa’s defense in allowing only one goal.  Vaz was dealt the red after he attempted a bicycle kick, in front of the Tampa net. Ingvarsson, of UT, also made an attempt to head the ball out of Tampa territory just as Vaz left his feet for the attempt.

The right toe of Vaz struck Ingvarsson across the forehead. After some pushing and shoving between the players and a short conference between the referees the decision was made and Vaz was asked to exit the game. Ingvarsson took a short break, before returning to the game. He returned with a wide headband covering the cut, and sporting jersey number 28. He was forced to change due to blood on his regular, number 10, jersey.

One yellow card was issued to Tampa. Freshman Brian Fekete received the card in the 57th minute of the matchup.

The game was scoreless until the 79th minute. The reigning SSC Defensive Player of the Week, Scott Gordon, took a free kick from just outside of the box and put it in the top left corner of the net, past the outstretched arm of Ryan Thompson.

Tampa totaled 22 shots in the game, 11 of which were on goal. Salvatorre saved nine of Tampa’s shot attempts. Thompson tallied four saves as Lynn took 15 shots, but only five on goal.

The loss to Lynn is just the sixth loss for the team in the past three seasons. Five of those six losses have come from the Spartans.

The win improves the Spartans record to 6-0-1 (2-0 SSC) and drops the Fighting Knights to 10-1 (2-1 SSC).

Kyle Bennett can be reached at minaret.sports@gmail.com.

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