DeLand, Fla. - Back to Back A-Sun Player of the Year Tessa Gavilsky (Granite City, Ill.) assisted on the winning goal and scored another to lead Stetson (7-8-1, 4--3-1) to a 2-0 win over Lipscomb (4-12-0, 0-8-0) Friday night at the Stetson Soccer Complex. Gavilsky extended her league-leading scoring total to 23 points (7 goals, 9 assists) while freshman Sammie Mathews (Palmetto, Fla.) tallied the game-winner in the 31st minute, her second goal of the season.
Stetson goalkeeper Andrea Garavaglia (Webster Groves, Mo.) registered her second shutout of the season. The victory guarantees the Hatters a spot in the upcoming Atlantic Sun Conference Championship Tournament. Stetson could be seeded as high as #2 or as low as #6 depending on their final two games of the season, as well as some other league results.
Although Lipscomb showed tremendous heart early on it was Stetson that opened the scoring with a goal at 30:33. Senior Kristen Higel (St. Augustine, Fla.) sailed a corner kick into the far side of the box to Gavilsky who headed the ball out to the top right. Mathews pounced and delivered a one-timer to the center of the goal from 15 yards out.
"Sammie has really been working hard. She is just now coming into her own she is getting the fruits of her labor", said Stetson head coach Julie Orlowski. "She has scored two great goals in the past two games by keeping her feet moving and finding a way to get the ball."
Mathews scored her first career goal in last Sunday's game at ETSU.
"A lot of credit to Lipscomb. Hats off to them they worked very hard and put pressure all over the field, they are a good team. There were some deficiencies of ours that they took advantage of in the first half and then we were fortunate to get the opportunity to score on the corner which was awesome", said Orlowski.
Stetson's second goal came late as the clock was winding down and Stetson earned the last of its six corner kick opportunities. Kaisi Hartwick (Granite City, Ill.) lofted the ball over the defenders to a perfectly positioned Gavilsky for a header inside the post in the top left corner.
Although both goals were impressive, it was the Stetson defense that stole the show.
"I thought the defense played very well for us tonight", said Orlowski. "Crossley and Hermy were excellent and our entire back four was excellent. Andi made a very high level save off the deflection, that was a big time save. All five worked really hard tonight and earned the shutout."
Sunday is Senior Day as Stetson hosts Belmont at 1:00 pm in its final home game of the regular season. Seniors Gavilsky, Higel, Garavaglia, Katie Bitetto, Natalie Simon, Jenny Agranoff, Rachel Allen, Mary Salfer-Hobbs and Lindsay Jowers will say their good byes to the home crowd.