LAKELAND – Florida Southern’s defensive effort Wednesday night against Rollins was nearly flawless once again, but nevertheless, the Tars found a way to score and used their own defense to cement the win. McKenzie Ryan provided Rollins with the only goal of the match in the 71st minute, and the Tars then hung on for the 1-0 win.
Florida Southern (1-4-1) and Rollins (3-4) combined for just 17 shots in their non-conference match, with the Moccasins having the better of it in the first half, and the Tars gaining the edge in the second. Rollins put one of its final shots in the net though when passes from Laura Piedrahita and Ali Schrader in the attacking third set up Ryan for a shot from the top of the box that slid inside the far post.
Prior to the goal, Florida Southern had out-shot Rollins, albeit by an 8-7 margin, but after breaking the deadlock, the Tars tightened up even further. Led by defenders Whitney Rohrer, Taylor Thigpen, Anita Cox and Maddie Ginder, the Tars did not allow a scoring chance the rest of the night and finished with their first shutout of the season.
Both teams tested the respective goalkeepers early in the match, with Mary Spring making a save on a long-distance shot by Kara Moore two minutes into the game, and Erin Moseley stopping Brenna McKee on a much closer shot in the sixth minute. McKee had a good look at the goal, but Moseley was able to get a hand on the ball and deflect it before it eventually hit the post and crossed the end line. The Tars did nothing with the two corner kicks that followed.
McKee’s long run through the Moccasin defense in the 19th minute produced another close shot, with this one going just wide of the left post. Moseley then made another save on a shot inside the box in the 27th minute, and Morgan Sammons snuffed out a chance by Kelsey Boone in the 37th that had possibilities for the Tars.
While Rollins managed only three first-half shots, Florida Southern had five, with the best of them coming from defender Brooke Williams. Both of her shots were from outside the box, but still forced Spring into action.
Both Spring and Moseley finished with five saves, and it was the fourth time in six games this year that Moseley and the Moccasins allowed either no goals or one goal.
Florida Southern will be at home again on Saturday when it hosts Lynn University in another non-conference match against a conference school. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.