PAINESVILLE, OH – The Tampa Spartans faced the Lake Erie Storm in the NCAA quarterfinal Saturday night at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium and were defeated 15-7.
Following the defeat, Tampa drops to 15-4 on the year and falls just short of a rematch of last year’s NCAA semifinal against Limestone College. Lake Erie advances to 15-2 and punches their ticket to advance to the next round.
The Storm opened up the scoring striking just several minutes into the game on a Regan Harding goal. Tampa would answer back quickly to even the score 1-1. The teams would battle back and forth for the rest of the first half with the difference being turnovers. Lake Erie made sure to capitalize off all five Tampa turnovers as they took a 6-2 lead into the half.
Tampa’s Offensive struggled to maintain any continuity on the day committing nine turnovers on the day. Jack Schmidt led the UT attack with his four goals. Also scoring for the Spartans were Zak Goldbach and Conor Whipple. Serving as facilitators for Tampa was Matt Bilak, Schmidt and Whipple, who each tallied an assist on the night.
The second half action started with a bang as Lake Erie struck first to start play. The game would continue to be a dogfight as the game remained scoreless until, Tampa’s Schmidt would score two goals to bring UT within two. The Storm then went on a three goal run increasing their lead to 10-5, the Spartans would battle back, but eventually the deficit was too much for them to overcome.
Defensively Tampa scooped up 21 groundballs and caused just three turnovers. A.J. Arnold got the start in net and allowed six goals in the first half. Arnold made just three saves in the and would eventually get the loss in the contest. Shane Giunta would take over in the second half making six saves and allowing eight goals.
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