WINTER PARK, Fla. (November 14, 2010) - The Rollins women's soccer team saw their post-season run cut short Sunday afternoon, as the Florida Tech Panthers upset the top-seeded Tars 2-0 in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida Tech (10-6-3) advances to the Quarterfinals for the first time in program history, with the loss marking Rollins' first in Second Round action in their its years of NCAA appearances.
"First of all I would like to congratulate Coach Haig and his team on advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament," said Tars head coach Patrick Baker. "They scored two goals in the first half and that ended up being more than we could overcome."
Rollins (10-5-2), who was the top-seed in the South Region, came out on fire as Ashley Waplinger and Charlotte Murrell ripped two consecutive shots on frame in the 10th minute. Florida Tech denied them the early goal, as Mist Eliasdottir made the initial save with a valiant diving effort, followed immediately by a team save from Rachel Devlin.
Tech answered back three minutes later as Paula Lillsjo sent a long ball up the field to a streaking Casey Lademann, who found an opening past the Tars defense and fired a shot on goal. The shot it glanced off the right post and crossed over the goal line by a hair before Rollins goalkeeper Michelle Dillingham could get her hands.
FIT doubled its advantage 15 minutes later off of a miscue from the defensive line, allowing Kelly Whittaker to have a wide open look on frame to put the Panthers up by two entering into the break. At the half, Rollins had a 5-4 advantage in shots and a 2-1 advantage in corner kicks. Eliasdottir turned away three shots, while Dillingham recorded one.
"I was proud of our effort this afternoon, and thought we started the game very well," Baker continued. "We created a great chance to score the first goal of the game, but as FIT cleared the ball and capitalized on a textbook counter attack to go up 1-0. We continued to play well, but unfortunately made a costly mistake a few minutes later to go down 2-0 on their first two shots."
Rollins opened up the second half with increased gusto, but could not find the back of the net on any of their attacking opportunities. Rollins led the shot count in the second half 6-3, including four on frame and a deflection off the post, and had three corner kicks opportunities while holding FIT to none in the final 45 minutes of play. Dillingham held the Panthers silent in the second half with two saves, while her counterpart collected four.
"We played really well in the second half and just couldn't get the first goal that would have changed the complexion of the game," Baker concluded. "We hit the keeper, defenders, the post and the crossbar, but nothing crossed the line. You couldn't fault our effort or our playing ability today. I feel for the team, especially our five seniors who have meant so much to the College and the program. The team had a very good year, unfortunately the season ended sooner than we had hoped. These student-athletes have represented us well and have set extremely high standards for years to come."
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins women's soccer team, visit the Tars' home on the web at RollinsSports.com.