LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College women's soccer opened its season on Thursday night with its first-ever regular-season game on the new Moccasin Field. Despite hanging tough for nearly the entire first half, the Mocs (0-1) dropped a close 3-1 contest to No. 21 Flagler (1-0). The match marked the first time in 670 days that Florida Southern had played a soccer match on campus after spending last year at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex.
Both teams would get on the board early, but the Saints used a goal in the closing moments of the first half to go in front for good. Despite sticking with Flagler in nearly every statistical category, the Mocs were unable to get many quality chances as Flagler picked up its first win of the year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Just 15 seconds into the match, Flagler's Sara Sandberg opened the scoring with her first goal of the season as she received a feed up the middle from Annie Habeeb and slotted one past Moccasin goalkeeper Crista Noelle Rolfsen.
- Anna Griessler would tie the game for Florida Southern just 48 seconds later as the Mocs scored their only goal of the game. Griessler, the leading scorer for the Moccasins the past three seasons, derailed the Saints from getting back to their offensive side as she stole a pass from a defender and beat Saints goalie Maddison Lipson from just inside the right side of the box.
- Florida Southern nearly jumped in front just moments later when Rachel Peck fired a shot at goal but was turned away by Lipson. With time winding down in the first half, Flagler was awarded an indirect kick inside the box and Myiah Russack-Cradeur would sneak the eventual game-winning goal past the Mocs keeper with just four seconds remaining on the clock.
- The Florida Southern offense would again put the Saints goalie to the test as freshman Haley Rounsifer fired off a shot that was saved in the 55th minute before pushing another shot just high of the target seconds later.
- Florida Southern had a fantastic chance to put home the equalizer on a penalty kick in the 75th minute of action, but Griessler's shot was stopped by Lipson, and the Saints would tack on a third and final goal just six minutes later to put the game out of reach.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- With a goal just 63 seconds in, Griessler recorded the third-fastest goal in Moccasin history. Princess Haley holds the record with a goal just 40 seconds into the match against Flagler back in 2009. Griessler also holds the record for the second-fastest goal in program history as she opened the scoring last season against Lynn just 61 seconds into that contest.
- The Florida Southern defense kept the Saints offense to no shots in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
- Senior Gaelyn Crowder started her 31st consecutive match, a streak that dates back to Oct. 21, 2015.
- Both teams totaled 14 shots in the match. Griessler led the Mocs with four shots while Cali Larson totaled three shots.
Florida Southern will be on the road for the next three matches. The Mocs open the road portion of their schedule with two in Georgia, first at Shorter (Sept. 1) and then at Georgia College (Sept. 2). The Moccasins will return to the Sunshine State with a non-conference match at Lynn (Sept. 5). The official SSC contest between Florida Southern and Lynn will take place on Sept. 15 in Lakeland.