Columbus – After a sluggish start, the No. 22 Columbus State (2-0) women's soccer team found their rhythm and went on to defeat No. 8 Tampa 1-0 in the marquee matchup of the CSU Collegiate Invitational Sunday afternoon at the Walden Soccer Complex.
It was the highest ranked foe Columbus State has defeated since 2008 when they beat then No. 6 Tampa.
In the early minutes of the contest, both teams tried to keep possession without going forward to get a feel for the match before Tampa (1-0) was able to fire off a string of shots although none were dangerous.
Columbus State had its first solid build up in the 24th minute when Chelsea Person had a one-timer but it was blocked by the UT defense.
A Tampa foul later in the half set-up a free kick for Kansas Bayly just inside the midfield line. The junior drove the ball into the box which carried over the head of goalkeeper Kori Butterfield to put the Lady Cougars in front 1-0 with 13:35 remaining in the opening 45 minutes of play.
That is how the half would end as Tampa held a 10-5 shot advantage but still trailed by a goal.
CSU came out of the half energized and controlled the flow of the game for the majority of the second half but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities to give themselves some extra breathing room. Their best scoring chance came on a build up between Emily Husted and Nikki Turnbull but Husted's shot went wide of the frame.
The Spartans lone threat in the contest also came off a set piece as Arielle Gonzalez volleyed a shot on frame but it was right at Mary Mancin who made the save.
For the contest, Tampa held a 12-9 edge in shots and 3-1 advantage in corner kicks. Columbus State was whistled for five fouls while the Spartans committed nine.
Mancin earned her first shutout of the season improving to 2-0 while making four saves. Butterfield drops to 1-1 allowing the lone goal on her only shot faced.
The Lady Cougars will hit the road for the first time this season in their next outing as they head up to Harrogate, TN to take on Lincoln Memorial in a non-conference matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at the LMU Soccer Field