Nov. 21, 2009

Courtesy of Tampa

BANNER ELK, N.C. – The No. 10 University of Tampa men’s soccer team saw its season draw to an end with a 1-0 loss to ninth-ranked Lees-McRae College in the NCAA Quarterfinal on a frigid Saturday night. A quick goal cost the Spartans, who end their season with a 17-3-1 record. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 18-2-1 and advance to the NCAA Semifinals on Dec. 3rd.

The only goal of the match came just 1:02 in, when the Bobcats charged downfield and Jamie Bladen put one into the back of the net. Through the remainder of the contest, the Spartans only managed two shots on goal saved by Sean Paradise of Lees-McRae.

“This result has nothing to do with the cold weather or field conditions. This was a very good Lees-McRae team tonight,” head coach Adrian Bush said following the game. “They scored a fantastic goal and really did a good job of frustrating our attack all night.”

Ryan Thompson finished with three saves in goal for Tampa, but the loss ends Tampa’s bid for back-to-back final four appearances.

“We have a very disappointed locker room right now, but I’m very proud of what this team has been able to achieve this year,” head coach Adrian Bush said following the game “17-3-1, third straight NCAA appearance, a conference and regional championship—to do that in our conference speaks volumes of the character of this team.”

The shutout also spells the end of several Spartans’ careers (Zach Fraser, Dan Ingvarsson, Pascal Milien, Ryan Thompson, Kyle Williams) as they finished their senior seasons.

“My heart goes out to this senior class as I know they gave our program and university their heart and soul for four years,” Bush said. “All of them are great soccer players but to see their growth as people off the field is something I feel blessed to be a part of.”