Lady Saints lose to NCAA Div. II St. Leo 3-0 in an emotionally driven match
By Michael O’Donnell
The Flagler College Lady Saints Soccer team lost a heartbreaker against 24th-ranked NCAA Div. II Saint Leo Saturday night at Saints Field.
Coming out of the blocks early, the Lady Saints did not waste any time trying to cut Saint Leo down to size, getting key scoring chances in the first half. In an effort to score, Coach Teddy Meyer pushed some extra players up on the forward progression, but to know avail.
“We played great the first half,” Meyer said. “This is supposed to be the 24th-ranked team in the nation. They played like girls and we played like women.”
For the Lady Saints, the second half was a letdown, as they fell into a lull on both sides of the ball and the Lions went for the jugular. Midfielder Sara Macko opened the game up for Saint Leo in the 70th minute scoring on a breakaway.
Saint Leo was far from done. Midfielder Evelina Viiri scored in the 88th minute banking one home off the upper left post off an assist from midfielder Bridget Godwin. Godwin put the nail in the coffin burying a through ball in the back of the net off the foot of forward Hannah Beard.
“We dominated them in the first half, but we could just not score goals,” Meyer said. “Two out of the three goals they scored were great shots in the upper 90 and were just unsavable. It is tough, because each game we inch closer and closer — this was a hard fought game and, for whatever reason, we got in a lull in the second half, but you will get that with a young team. It is a tough loss.”
The Lady Saints will try to move on and regroup for another tough match up Tuesday night against Palm Beach Atlantic. The Sailfish are anchored by Laura Bowers, who has 17 goals this season.
“The mentality has to be that we are going to beat them — and we will,” Meyer said. “We have played unbelievable soccer as of late. It is just unfortunate that the progression is taking this long. If we play like we played the first 90 minutes against Saint Leo, we will win.”