After a hot 11-game win streak, the Tars finally cooled off, losing to the 5th-ranked Florida Tech Panthers for the team’s first loss since February 20.
Last Saturday, the Tars hung with the Panthers well in the first half of the game, matching the Panther’s goal tally for a score of 5-5 at the break. It was the second half, however, where the Tars simply could not keep up with Florida Tech’s pace.
The Tars managed to answer the first couple scoring runs by the Panthers, pulling within one two times just after it seemed that Florida Tech was pulling away.
However, once the Tars fell behind 12-9 with 17 minutes remaining, the Panthers pulled away. The Tars were outscored 9-3 in those final 17 minutes, losing by a final score of 21-12.
The loss dropped the Tars to a 12-2 overall record and a 2-2 conference record.
Before the loss, the Tars were rolling through their competition, utilizing their stellar defense and goalkeeping to grind down their opponents. The Tars lost to Adelphi, the number 1 ranked team at the time, in February but never looked back.
Over the next 5 matches, the Tars held their opponents to single digits on the scoreboard in each contest, while scoring over 10 goals in those games themselves.
Over the course of the entire streak, the Tars proved their status as a conference contender. The teams that the Tars faced throughout the course of their run were no pushovers, as their competition included 4 teams ranked in the top 25, including 6th-ranked Limestone and 1st-ranked Florida Southern.
One of the Tars’ key players throughout the winning streak was goalkeeper Malorie Olin. Over the course of the season, Olin has been dominant in the goal, having earned National Division II Defensive Player of the Week honors twice.
While Olin performed well throughout the entirety of the wining streak, her most pivotal performance came on April 4th against 1st-ranked Florida Southern. In that game, Olin saved a career-high 18 shots, second best in Rollins history. Olin made history once more in the loss to Florida Tech, having set the Rollins record for most saves in a career.
Although the recent loss is a setback, the Rollins Tars have shown they have what it takes to be not only a conference contender, but a national contender, as well. Were the Tars to find their rhythm again, they would be a formidable foe for even the top teams in the country.
Rollins will look to start a new winning streak on Saturday, April 14 as they take on the Saint Leo Lions in a conference contest at home.