Florida Tech Ends Lady Flames Historic Season On Penalty Kicks
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Jackie Burns had four saves and two penalty kick saves in Sunday's NCAA Second Round match.
Florida Tech defeated the Lee women's soccer team 3-2 in penalty kicks on Sunday afternoon in the semifinal round of the South Region Championship and advanced to play West Florida for the Region title on Dec. 3.
After regulation play and two overtime periods ended with rugged play deadlocked a one goal apiece, the Panthers quickly took a one goal advantage in the PK session and proceeded to advance behind the outstanding effort of goalkeeper Maria Sanchez. She had 10 saves in regulation and two more in PKs.
The Lady Flames wasted no time in jumping out to a 1-0 lead at the 5:50 mark in the first half.
Freshman Jordan Blair blasted her shot high to the center back of the goal. The assist was recorded by Lauren Weimer inside the eight-yard box off a cross.
The Panthers scored the equalizer at the 17:37 mark of the opening half on a shot by Mayara Queiroz Reis. The goal was assisted by Marem Ndionque.
Lee had numerous opportunities to score, including a pair of one-on-one opportunities, the remainder of the first half and the entire second period but could never slip a goal past the ever-present Sanchez.
"I thought we created a lot of chances today and unfortunately we weren't able to capitalize on any of those chances and had to have it decided on penalty kicks," said Lee head coach Chris Hennessey. "This doesn't take anything away from everything we accomplished as a team this season. To go undefeated and win the GSC and improve each and every week is something this team can be proud of. I'm so honored to have coached this team and even though we came up short today this was a very successful season and one that each and every player should be very proud of all they accomplished."
The Lady Flames outshot the visitors 23-8 and placed 10 on target to only five for the Panthers. In fact, Florida Tech was forced to play the final minutes of regulation play and two overtime periods with one player short, due to a player picking up a red card. Lee keeper Jackie Burns also had five saves.
"I'm just so honored to be on this team and play with these girls," said Burns after the match. "It was a special group and I hate we couldn't advance on but every single girl left it all out on the field and I'm so proud of our team."
In the PK, Florida Tech was successful on its first kick but Lee's first attempt was blocked. The Panthers went up 2-0 when the Lady Flames second attempt failed. Burns made a big save to keep Lee alive with a save on Florida Tech's third PK. Lee evened the score by making a PK but the Panthers claimed a 3-2 PK victory by making their final attempt.
"I want to thank our incredible administration and fans for the environment they created for us to play in today and all season long," concluded Hennessey. "Lee is a special place and we were honored to play in front of the best fans in the nation this season."