The University of Tampa’s men’s soccer team celebrated its new No. 1 ranking by extending its record to 3-0 with two weekend road wins. The Spartans took down Clayton State Sept. 4 and knocked off North Georgia two days later. UT first traveled to Atlanta to meet the Clayton State Lakers.
The match proved to be a defensive struggle throughout.
It was tied 0-0 at the half and remained that way until the 52nd minute.
Lakers goalie David Cristofoli tackled Spartan junior Lister Warren, resulting in a penalty kick.
The shot by defenseman Dan Ingvarsson beat Cristofoli and put UT up 1-0.
The score would hold up and give Tampa its second win.
The defense kept UT goalie Ryan Thompson’s work to a minimum.
The defense allowed eight shots, including only one shot on goal, which Thompson saved.
The win marked his first shutout of the season.
The Spartans finished their road trip at North Georgia College and State University with a Sunday afternoon match against the Saints.
The offense broke out early as Warren, tied for the team lead in scoring in 2008, notched his first goal of the year at the 8:08 mark off of a pass from freshman Dominic Goncalves.
At 15:09, Warren took an Ingvarsson free kick and doubled his tally to two.
Five minutes into the second half, North Georgia’s Calvin Cook scored unassisted to cut the Spartan lead to 2-1.
Six minutes later, UT sophomore forward Mike Bethel deflected a shot off a defender into the net to seal a 3-1 victory.
The Saints outshot the Spartans 14-12, but Thompson made five saves to NGCSU goalie Rade Tanaskovic’s four.
There were seven yellow cards handed out during the battle, two against the Spartans.
A red card was given to North Georgia’s Caleb Turner, leading to his ejection in the 82nd minute.
The Spartans return to Tampa to face Savannah College of Art and Design on Friday, Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m.
Brenton Burkett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.