But the Lions have one final chance to make the season a memorable one for the right reasons on Thursday night as they open the NCAA Division II Tournament against Florida Tech at 7 p.m. at Rollins College in Winter Park.
“It has definitely been one of those season’s,” O’Connor said on Wednesday, “but we’re going to go there and give it our best shot.”
The Lions injury woes continued last Friday as they fell 4-1 to Rollins in the Sunshine State conference final, losing another player to injury, this time a concussion. But Saint Leo remains optimistic over its chances against the Panthers, who only eked out a 1-0 double-overtime victory when the two team’s faced each other in the regular season.
“No question,” O’Connor said. “We went to their place we had the better of the play, we missed a one-on-one chance with 30 seconds to go, we hit the crossbar, and in the end they scored a pretty decent goal. It’s just a case of making sure we limit our mistakes and if we do that, I don’t think we’re going to have that many issues.”
Lions striker Hannah Beard did give herself and the team something to smile about in the loss to Rollins as she became the leading scorer in Saint Leo history. After a good week of preparation, O’Connor feels his team is ready to spring a surprise.
“No question whatsoever,” O’Connor said. “I think we’ve got to play well, but I think the girls are ready for it.”