Spence 2OT header lifts Tampa to win
Spartans head to quarterfinals for first time since 2007
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Tampa's Brittan Spence headed home a cross from Cina Salemi in the 101st minute to give the Spartans a 1-0 double overtime victory and the NCAA South Region title against Lynn on Friday afternoon at the Armstrong Soccer Field.
The win puts the Spartans (16-5-2) into the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since their 2007 NCAA Championship season, while ending Lynn's cinderella run through the tournament as a No. 5 seed. The Knights finish the year with an 11-7-1 record.
A very evenly played first half generated few scoring chances as Lynn tallied five shots and Tampa tallied four before halftime. In the second half, Tampa started to enjoy the run of play, including collecting seven corner kicks in the frame. But neither team was able to push in a goal, sending the game into overtime.
In the first overtime period, Lynn's Jackie Hellett had a pair of shots, one turned away by Tampa keeper Emelie Karstrom, but the game moved into a second overtime.
A quick possession by Tampa at the beginning of the second overtime period generated the game-winning chance. After a run by left back Jazmin Perry, the ball came out to Tampa midfielder Cina Salemi. Salemi got free down left side and sent a cross into the box, where Spence flicked a header past Lynn keeper Meghan Dolan inside the far post for the match-winner.
The win was the second this season for Tampa against Lynn as the Spartans won a 2-1 matchup in the first round of the Sunshine State Conference tournament.