Jacksonville, Fla. - The #6 seed Stetson women's soccer team season came to an end Thursday after falling 5-0 to the #2 Mercer Bears in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. Stetson finished the season at 8-11-1 while Mercer improved to 9-8-1 and will move on to play the winner of the other semifinal featuring #1 Jacksonville and #4 Kennesaw State.
After dropping the regular season meeting 5-1 to the Hatters in DeLand on October 3 the Bears came out looking for a better showing. Although Stetson was strong early, Mercer took over and controlled play for the majority of the first half. The Bears scored in the 15th minute and then added two more during a 26-second span and carried a 3-0 lead into the break.
After giving up a 15-4 advantage in shots in the first half, Stetson played much stronger in the second and reduced the margin to 5-4. Mercer added two more goals in the second half for the 5-0 final.
"They outplayed us today. It is unfortunate to send our seniors out this way but they [Mercer] played hard and deserved to win", said Stetson head coach Julie Orlowski. "We have been an inconsistent team all year. Some days we are the best team in the conference and others we are not. Unfortunately today we did not bring our A-game."
Senior Tessa Gavilsky (Granite City, Ill.) was marked heavily the entire game yet still managed to lead the Hatters with three shots. The two-time Player of the Year and four-time All-Conference honoree ended her career as the greatest offensive player ever to wear a Stetson uniform. She goes out as the program's all-time leader in goals (34), assists (29), and points scored (97).
Stetson senior goalkeeper Andrea Garavaglia (Webster Groves, Mo.) finished the game with four saves and completed her career #3 all-time at Stetson and #7 all-time in the A-Sun with 350 saves.
Stetson is now 7-6-1 all-time against Mercer overall and 0-1 in post-season play.
"When we get off the bus back in DeLand we will start building towards next year; the future is bright. We have a lot of young players who got a lot of time and experience and we can build on that for next season", added Orlowski.