Down 2-0 just 26 minutes into the game, Tampa needed a huge rally if they were going to topple the top-ranked Lynn Fighting Knights.
Four Spartan goals later, Tampa had recorded a key SSC victory and began celebrating on the field.
“We needed to fight back,” said Kevin Sierra after the game. “I knew we had it in us. I’ve been playing four years here and never beat them. It feels good to finally beat the No. 1 team in the nation.
The team ended their two game losing streak by defeating the previously unbeaten Fighting Knights.
Coach Adrian Bush gave all the credit to the heart of his players.
“They deserve it,” said a Gatorade-drenched Bush, “Our conference is brutal but its how we needed to play.”
The Knights offense controlled the game in the opening minutes of the first half, quickly leaving the Spartans facing a two goal deficit. Tampa’s offense rallied, with Clevon George scoring in the 29th minute. The momentum of the game fully shifted in the 43rd minute as Carlos Mora scored the tying goal and immediately stripped off his shirt and raced around the field.
The Tampa defense held the charging Lynn offense to only two shots on goal in the half while the Tampa offense placed four shots on goal. The teams entered the locker rooms tied at the half.
The second half began with the Fighting Knights once again taking control of the game.
This time however, the Tampa defense was not to be defeated. Momentum was once again on Tampa’s side after a handball in the keeper’s box resulted in a penalty kick for Kevin Sierra. Sierra put it in the back of the net to give Tampa the lead for the first time.
The defense had their hands full, but deflections like a successful sliding attempt by Dan Ingvarsson in the 59th minute kept the Lynn offense at bay. With a chance to tie the game in the 77th minute, the Knights were unable to find a way past goal keeper Kevin St. John and his defenders to capitalize on a corner kick, succeeding in stopping what proved fatal to the Spartans less than a week ago against Rollins.
Ricardo Cardoso brought the ball up the side of the field unchallenged and scored the team’s fourth straight goal in the 84th minute, sealing the game for the Spartans. It was Cardoso’s fourth goal on the season.
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