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Women’s soccer clinches tournament spot with convincing play

By Jordan Harirchi

The UNF women’s soccer team (8-8-2, 4-3-1 Atlantic Sun) clinched a conference spot in a strong display of defense.

The women’s soccer team dominated the game against conference rival Belmont University (6-7-1, 3-3-1 Atlantic Sun) Oct. 14 but could only manage a 0-0 tie. The Ospreys continued their strong play Oct. 16 with a 4-0 win against Lipscomb (4-11-1, 2-5-0 Atlantic Sun).

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Despite their 18 to five shot advantage, the Ospreys couldn’t put the ball in the net Oct. 14. Belmont Bruins goalkeeper Nicole Berner was the only reason Belmont stayed in the game — she came away with eight saves.

“The defense is only supposed to keep it zero for 90 minutes,” said sophomore forward Lauren Hopfensperger. “[Our] offense just couldn’t put it in.”

The Ospreys spent a majority of the first half on the Bruins’ side of the field as they flexed their muscles and looked to score a few goals.

The Bruins tightened up in the second half and looked to carry momentum into overtime, but the Ospreys quickly smashed their hopes.

The Ospreys didn’t allow a single shot on goal in either overtime periods. The offense still couldn’t manage to get any shots into the back of the net, though.

“It’s the nature of the game,” said Head Coach Linda Hamilton.

Finishing on offense was an issue against Belmont, but the Ospreys had no trouble fixing the issue against Lipscomb. They blew out a Lipscomb team that had beaten Belmont earlier in the season.

Carolina Lencina, a sophomore forward, scored the first goal off a cross by Hopfensperger. Lencina assisted the next goal, setting up a shot for junior midfielder Kathryne Husted, bringing the halftime score to 2-0.

Instead of playing conservatively in the second half, the Ospreys managed to score five shots in the first 15 minutes.

Michele Larrinaga, a junior forward, recovered a misplaced header by Belmont in the 76th minute and fired a shot that sliced between defenders into the far right corner of the goal.

The Ospreys put up another point in the 78th minute when senior forward Denisse Soltero rebounded a ball blocked by Lipscomb’s goalie into the back of the net.

Senior defender Sam Keyes said the Ospreys played the best soccer they’ve played all year.

The team plays at JU Oct. 21 in a game that is always heated and emotional, said Vladana Petricevi, a senior midfielder.

The team knows what’s at stake against JU and the upcoming conference tournament, Keyes said.

“I only have a couple of games left,” Keyes said. “It’s now or never.”

Oct. 21 at JU at 7 p.m.

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