Sailfish Play Tough but Fall in Home Opener Versus Saint Leo

Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations

Junior Lesslee Hernandez (Pictured, #18) Takes on a Saint Leo Defender on Sunday Afternoon at Magic Jack Field. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.Junior Lesslee Hernandez (Pictured, #18) Takes on a Saint Leo Defender on Sunday Afternoon at Magic Jack Field. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After missing on two chances at their home opener this week due to wet weather the Sailfish women’s soccer team finally got to suit up in front of the ‘Fish faithful on Sunday afternoon against Saint Leo University at Magic Jack Field. In a back-and-forth affair the Lions would tally the first and last goals to win a well-played match by both sides by a final score of 3-2.

Palm Beach Atlantic (1-2-1) would control the tempo in the early going as they tried to make their runs at the Saint Leo (3-2) defense. However it would be the Lions who struck first when Genevieve Gignac got loose in the 15th minute for the game’s opening score.

Things would remain 1-0 thru the first 45 minutes as neither team found the back of the net the remainder of the half as Saint Leo entered the break with a 5-1 lead in shots.

After some adjustments by head coach James Kryger at halftime the Sailfish came out determined for an equalizer. Defender Andrea Jefferson alertly scooped up a SLU turnover in the first five minutes after halftime to find a streaking Haily Johnson who then chipped the ball over the charging Lions keeper for a 1-1 tie.

As would be the theme of the afternoon the other side would have an answer.

Saint Leo went back in front in the 55th minute when a long cross came into the box to find Saint Leo’s dynamic freshman Arielle Kabangu. The strong-willed Canadien found the pass near the top of the box and delivered a perfect one-timer past the diving efforts of PBA goalkeeper Allison Fox.

Back came the Sailfish in the 74th minute however as sophomore Kasey Wyer put a corner kick into the box to find the head of fellow sophomore Carson Mitchell. Mitchell headed the ball in and gave her team hopes of a victory or draw if they could find the back of the net one more time in the final stages of the match.

In the end however it would be the one-on-one skills of SLU forward Fabienne Schwenk who proved to be the hero as she beat her opponent near the top of the box, made a few dribbles and then drilled home a game-winning strike to the far post in the 83rd minute.

Palm Beach Atlantic would do their best to try for an equalizer down the stretch but SLU would hang on for the important South Region win in regulation.

Abby Evans earned the win in goal for SLU while Fox took the loss for the Sailfish as she also made five saves.

Saint Leo finished with a 13-3 shots advantage while Palm Beach Atlantic held the edge in corner kicks at 6-2.

The Sailfish will next take the field on Wednesday, Sept. 25 when they travel to the University of Tampa for a 7 pm kickoff.

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