Nov. 23, 2008

From Tampa Athletics

The No. 11 University of Tampa Spartans (18-3-1) overcame a two goal deficit against the fifth-ranked Tusculum College Pioneers (20-3-1) for a 3-2 double overtime win in the NCAA II National Quarterfinal. With the win, the Spartans advance to the NCAA II Final Four, held this season at UT's Pepin Stadium beginning Dec. 4.

After fourteen minutes of back and forth play, the Pioneers got on the board with Bruno Conceicao's 24th goal of the season to put the Spartans down 1-0. In the 33rd minute, Tusculum's Corey McPherson beat goalkeeper Ryan Thompson for his seventh of the year to up the lead to two.

In the second half and trailing 2-0, the Spartans made adjustments to get back in the game. Off a cross from Tampa midfielder Zach Fraser, freshman Ryan Griffin headed the ball past Tusculum goalkeeper Lance Moore to move the Spartans to within one.

Later in the half while battling in the offensive zone, Griffin was issued a red card when he caught TC's Telmo Dantes in the face to put Tampa down a man for the remainder of the match.

With just over five minutes to go in regulation however, UT's leading point-getter Pascal Milien was taken down inside the box, granting a penalty kick to the Spartans. Defender Dan Ingvarsson took the kick, blasting the ball into the back of the net to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The goal was Ingvarsson's seventh of the season and his fourth successful penalty kick in four attempts.

Through the first overtime, neither team could muster a goal. However, the Pioneers' man-advantage was removed in the second overtime when Conceicao was issued his second caution of the match, giving him an automatic red card, when he took down UT's Milien. Play was delayed as Milien had to be helped off the field before being sent to the hospital.

On the ensuing free kick, Ingvarsson took a shot that was saved by Moore leaving thjust outside the goal. Tampa's Lister Warren knocked the ball across the goal line to seal the Spartan comeback for a hard-fought victory.

Moore finished the match with five saves and Thompson finished with nine. Tampa also had one team save.

Tampa will square off against Cal State-Dominguez Hills in the NCAA II National Semifinal held in two weeks.