Thursday, October 15, 2009

Colleges: Lions earn revenge, Soesemann earns award

Two seasons ago, a 3-0 loss at Barry cost Saint Leo’s women a chance a the Sunshine State Conference regular season championship, and the top seed in the SSC tournament that season.

With many members of the team remaining on the Lions squad, Coach Ged O’Connor probably didn’t need to remind his team of what happened then, but did anyway.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” O’Connor said. “The girls had a little bit of revenge in mind after what happened two years ago.”

Sara Macko scored the only goal for the Lions in the eighth minute as they extended their winning streak to three games and moved above .500 in the SSC. After a pair of tough losses to Rollins and Florida Tech, the Lions are rounding into the form O’Connor was hoping to see from them.

‘It feels that way,” O’Connor said. “There’s a little bit of quiet confidence about the team. The great thing was we went down to Barry, they played with three high strikers and we scored in the eighth minute and were able to hold them for the remaining 82.”

Integral in that winning run has been the play of Pia Soesemann, who on Monday was named the SSC Women’s Offensive Player of the Week after scoring three goals in two games. While Macko and All-American forward Hannah Beard have been getting a lot of attention for the Lions this season, Soesemann has been a vital piece in their success.

“Pia’s a stud, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” O’Connor said. “She’s a great player, but she works her socks off, and a lot of the work she does goes unnoticed, like Crissy Darwell. She’s having a phenomenal year.”

With what appears to be a three-horse race emerging between Florida Tech, Rollins and Florida Southern for the SSC title, Saint Leo would need things to fall their way in other games if they were to get back into contention. The Lions can help themselves with that this Saturday as they host Florida Southern in their final home game of the season.

“Now we’ve got a massive, massive test,” O’Connor said.. “Florida Southern at home on senior night, it’s going to be a tough game.”

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