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Panthers Season Flames Out with First Round Loss to Lee

The Sixth-seeded Florida Tech Panthers were overwhelmed by the Lee Flames in the first round of the NCAA Division II women’s soccer tournament on Friday. Freshman Isabelle Berthoud scored in the first half and Summer Lanter scored with 4:02 left, capping a 2-0 victory for Lee and putting an end to the Panthers stellar playoff run.

Lee (17-4) came into the tournament seeded sixth and were riding a nine-game win streak. Goalie Haley Gribler, who allowed just 10 goals all season and had a goals-against average of 0.79 coming in, registered her sixth shutout of the season.

The defense in front of her deserves a lot of credit as well, as the Panthers did not register a shot on goal for the entire match. Florida Tech took just seven shots, no player had more than one.

Adding to the Panthers woes was an injury to starting goaltender Karlyn Prisco who came out of her net to try to cut down the angle on Summer Lanter on a one on one scoring attempt in the 27th minute. She accomplished that, getting just enough of the ball to knock it off course, but she looked to get spiked in the process and did not return.

Natalia Milashus came did a good job in relief, making five saves in the final 63 minutes, but she also allowed both goals.

The first Lee goal was set up on a long ball into the box by McKenzie Bricker that fell at the feet of Marissa Villafuerte. Her shot hit the crossbar, but the rebound came out to Berthoud, who put the Flames up, 1-0.

Lanter, the Gulf South Conference Player of the Year showed exactly why she earned that honor, scoring her 18th goal of the season at the 85:58 mark, putting an end to the Panthers season.

The Flames outshot Florida Tech 18-7 and had a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Lee Box Score (NSU Soccer Complex)

Florida Tech finishes the season with a 9-8-3 record and got hot at the right time, winning the first Sunshine State Conference championship in program history. Congratulations to coach Dustin Smith and his Panther women on a great season.