Brian Fekete and Pascal Milien both found the net as No.5 Tampa opened its Sunshine State Conference campaign on a winning note, defeating Barry 2-1 at Pepin-Rood Stadium on Saturday night.
The Spartans (5-0-1, 1-0-0 SSC) were in control for the bulk of the game, pressuring the Barry net as Dominic Goncalves and Lister Warren both had early shots saved. They were rewarded for their pressure in the 44th minute, when a speculative long-range shot by Fekete found its way into the net. It was the freshman’s first goal for the Spartans.
Tampa doubled its lead in the 64th minute as Milien created his own opportunity before sending a shot into the top right corner of the net.
Barry pulled a goal back with five minutes to go, Andres Perez scoring for the Buccaneers (3-3-1, 1-2-0), but their last-gasp efforts to tie the game were withstood by the Spartans.
Tampa will next host No.2 Lynn on Saturday at 7 p.m. in a game that should have a major say in who wins the SSC regular season title.