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UT Scores Third National Soccer Championship

Published: December 02, 2001

The University of Tampa (19-0-2) won its third NCAA II men’s soccer national championship Dec. 2 when the Spartans defeated the Cal State-Dominguez Hills Toros 2-1.


The Toros (20-3-2) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a header by senior defender Joe Cartlidge that came off a corner from midfielder Sean Lockhart only 1:19 into the game. The Toros defense held strong going into halftime as they held onto the 1-0 lead. The second half found the Spartans in a familiar position, down 1-0 with time running out, and needing a comeback to keep their undefeated season alive. SophomoreJason Bell scored off a header in the 80th minute to tie the game for the Spartans. Josh Huettich scored the assist on Bell’s goal.


Spartan forward Kareem Escayg, the hero of Friday night’s semifinal game, would be the hero for Tampa in the championship game as well. With 3:40 remaining in the game, Escayg stole a pass at midfield and led the Spartans down the field. Escayg ripped a shot from 25 yards away from the net, which deflected off a Toro defender and went just over the outstretched reach of CSUDH goalkeeper Luis Morales.


Tampa goalie Roy Swarts, who continued his outstanding play, stopped four of the 12 shots he faced. Luis Morales stopped four of nine.


For the Spartans, Escayg, Roy Fink, Marlon Rojas and Robbie Folbrycht were named to the Final Four all-Tournament Team.


The Spartans won their first national championship since 1994 and completed their second undefeated season in school history. The first was in 1981, when the team was 15-0-3 and won its first national championship.


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