JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Stetson women's soccer team (3-10-1, 1-4-1) lost to North Florida (6-6-2, 4-0-1) on the road by a score of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Freshman Mara Keomanivane scored the Hatters' only goal in the defeat.
Stetson gave up two goals within the first 22 minutes of action. Thea Linkfield opened the scoring in the 8th minute, beating a Hatter defender and finishing to the far post. The unassisted goal was Linkfield's fifth of the season.
In the 22nd minute, the Ospreys' Lauren Hopfensperger tallied her third goal of the year on another unassisted score. The North Florida forward carried the ball towards the goal from the right on a breakaway, beating Stetson goalkeeper Victoria Troccoli to the near post.
"It took us 20 minutes to start executing our game plan, and we were lucky to only be down 2-0 early in the game," Head Coach Julie Orlowski said. "Then we started playing well and dominated the game for the final 70 minutes."
Keomanivane kept the Hatters in the game less than seven minutes later with her third goal of the year. The ball was deflected back out to the Stetson freshman. She then took one touch, and fired a shot past UNF goalkeeper Brittany Hahn to the far post.
Neither team was able to capitalize on their respective opportunities throughout the rest of the match, resulting in a 2-1 loss for the Hatters. North Florida held a slight 14-13 advantage in shots, and a 6-2 lead in corner kicks. Troccoli totaled five saves in the loss, while Hahn finished with six stops in the win.
"We had a number of wide open chances to tie and then take the lead in the game, but we couldn't capitalize," Orlowski continued. "The good thing is that we're getting in position to be dangerous, and usually that's the hard part."
Stetson will next play at Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, October 13. The Hatters and the Eagles are scheduled to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. in Fort Myers.