Rollins (11-5-1, 6-4-0 SSC) – 1
Tampa (9-3-3, 6-2-2 SSC) – 2
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (November 5, 2017) – The Tars fell in heartbreaking fashion in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Finals, losing to Tampa 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Rollins fought back from a second half deficit to tie the game, but a late penalty call doomed the Tars' title chances. Rollins falls to 11-5-1 on the year while the Spartans improve to 9-3-3 and capture the SSC Tournament Championship.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
First Half: Rollins controlled play for most of the first half, taking seven shots in the period against the Spartans' one. The Tars' put two shots on target, and took four corner kicks in the half. Tampa did not force Drew Trautmann into a save, and did not earn a corner kick in the opening 45 minutes.
Second Half: The Spartans tallied first in the second half, SSC Offensive Player of the Year Felipe DeSousa scoring against the run of play. Marcel Salokat played a through ball to the senior who was able to beat Trautmann one-on-one. The Tars picked up the offensive pressure and equalized with less than ten minutes left in the contest. Ray Gerke sent a beautiful cross into the box, which Matt Volk met with his head, and redirected into the side netting. The game looked destined for overtime, but with four seconds on the clock DeSousa and James Winchester bumped each other in the box. The Spartan fell to the ground, and the referee pointed to the spot. Salokat stepped to the spot and converted the penalty to give the Spartans a 2-1 advantage in the final seconds.
- The Tars are now 17-26-4 all time against the Spartans.
- Stefan Avram, Fritz Engel, Ben Grant, and Drew Trautmann were named to the SSC All-Tournament Team.
- This marks the second time in three years that Rollins has advanced to the SSC Tournament Final. Rollins won the 2015 title by defeating Saint Leo 2-0.
- Head Coach Keith Buckley moves to 317-153-30, as he is in his 27th season at the helm of the Rollins soccer program.
The Tars will wait to learn their NCAA Tournament fate which will be decided during the Division II Selection Show.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins men's soccer team, fans can visit RollinsSports.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.