Tough Saint Leo Squad Defeats PBA Women's Soccer at Lantana Field

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University Sports Information Director

Gabby Lopez (Pictured) Got PBA on The Board Against Saint Leo University with a First-Half Goal. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Gabby Lopez (Pictured) Got PBA on The Board Against Saint Leo University with a First-Half Goal. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Coming off a pair of 3-1 victories in their past two matches versus the likes of Florida Southern College and Florida Memorial University, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s soccer team had reason to believe they could ride some solid momentum in their match on Tuesday evening against Saint Leo University. Unfortunately for the Fish, the Lions were too strong on this night as they pounded in seven goals in a 7-2 victory.

Now 4-2-1 on the season and holding a #5-regional ranking, the Lions appeared poised for a big night from the onset as they pushed across four goals in the first 40 minutes and went into halftime leading 5-1. While the Sailfish (4-4) made some improvements in the second-half, the Lions held strong enough for a key regional victory.

Now back at .500 for the season, PBA second-year head coach James Kryger saw some adjustments he would like to make before getting back out on the field for their next match on Saturday.

“Tonight was not exactly how we drew it up on the board. Saint Leo played a fantastic game, making few mistakes and followed up on some great scouting reports with a game plan that we thought we could avoid. They definitely deserve the attention they are getting,” said Kryger.

“We found ourselves breathless 20 minutes in and it was just one of those nights in which they kept coming at us and we had no answers. We did not stick to our game plan that has seen us do so well of late and as a result suffered some tough setbacks in the goals against department tonight,” continued Kryger.

After a fairly quiet first ten minutes of play, the ball started jumping all over the field as SLU struck first when senior Hannah Beard tallied her team-leading eighth goal of the season after a cross from Kelli Jones found its way into the box just under the 10th minute.

Down but certainly not out at the time, the Sailfish fought back quickly as freshman Gabby Lopez collected a loose ball in the box and received a quick touch from fellow freshman Jennie Weil for the assist. The goal came less than one minute after the Lion’s first score.

From that point, the Lions took control of the remainder of the half, scoring four more times. Sara Macko delivered the first goal in the 18th minute followed by a Pia Soesemann breakaway shot just before the 25 minute mark.

Jones and Beard connected next for SLU at the 33:01 mark as Beard sent a cross in and Jones headed the ball into the back of the net for a more comfortable 4-1 advantage.

Aija Bent-Trinder closed out the half with a loose ball in the box that Macko quickly found Bent-Trinder for the score.

SLU held an 11-3 shots advantage in the first period of play while entering halftime with a 5-2 lead.

The second 45 minutes saw PBA junior Angie Kuhn take advantage of being in the right place at the right time in the 59th minute when freshman Alivia McDaniel’s shot deflected off the hands of SLU goalkeeper Kelcee Mai when Kuhn found the ball at her feet right near the goal entrance. Kuhn’s heads up play resulted in the North Fort Meyers native tapping the ball in for her fifth goal of the season.

After Kayla Webb took over the goalkeeping duties for PBA in the second-half, SLU added in goals by Andrea Lott (77th minute) and Beard again at the 80th minute.

Mai finished with six saves in goal for SLU while Morrell notched three saves and Webb made four saves for PBA.

“With some moments of brilliance and a few unlucky bounces and missed open nets we should have scored 2-3 more of our own but when you give up seven it’s tough to score eight. We know our mistakes we will have to go back to the drawing board and regroup for a tough Rollins College team. Once again, we will be fine and will be back out on the field tomorrow preparing for a great game Saturday,” concluded Kryger.

PBA will travel to Winter Park on Saturday, October 10th for their next match against Rollins College. A PBA-RC soccer double-header, the Sailfish men’s teams will take on the Tars at 4:30 p.m. while the women’s teams will battle at approximately 6:30 p.m. Both matches will be aired live and podcasted through the Sailfish Sports Network.

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