Nov. 15, 2009

Courtesy of Rollins Athletics

WINTER PARK, Fla. - Tampa jumped out to a two goal advantage in the first half and held off Rollins down the stretch as the Spartans downed the Tars 2-1 in the second round of the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championship.

Tampa (16-2-1) advances to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament and will play Lees McRae on November 21 or 22. Rollins season ends with a record of 17-3-1.

The Spartans came out of the gate firing, getting off three shots, one that was saved by Tars' keeper Aaron Rokeach, in the first 20 minutes. In the 26th minute, Rollins Adam New was booked for a hard foul at the top of the box to set up a UT free kick. Dan Ingvarsson took the try and looped the ball around the Tars wall and into the net to make the score 1-0.

Rollins fought back in the 30th minute as J.D. Gruenewald strike from the right was saved by UT keeper Ryan Thompson and a Thomas Biddinger header off a corner kick sailed high. Tampa then extended their lead in the 32nd minute with Brian Fekete connecting a pass to Greg O'Connor for a hard strike and goal from the left corner of the box.

The beginning of the second half was played in the midfield with neither team gaining any ground. The trend continued into the 66th minute when Jacob Deloach sent a high arching ball into the box from near the midfield line. The pass found the head of Bradley Welch for a header into the back of the net, making the score 2-1.

In the 81st minute, Rollins appeared to score the equalizer on a loose ball near the goal that was headed in by Dennis Chin, but the celebration was stopped by the official's whistle as the Tars were called offside. A final Biddinger header in the 85th minute was punched out by Ryan Thompson and Tampa was able to hold on for the victory.