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Victory over Tech stuns even Lions' coach

Amazing.

Tremendous.

The adjectives have flowed from Saint Leo women's soccer coach Tony Paris this season and justifiably so.

Stunned best described Paris after Tuesday's 2-1 win against Florida Tech in the opening round of the Sunshine State Conference tournament.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet," Paris said before the Saint Leo men took the field for the second game of the doubleheader. "I think over the next 24 hours the magnitude of what we did is going to hit me."

What the Lions did was continue a turnaround and keep their season alive. Saint Leo plays Friday at Barry in Miami Shores against the winner of Tuesday night's Eckerd-Tampa game (results were unavailable at press time).

Saint Leo, which had seven wins in its first three seasons, improved to 12-5-2 thanks to goals by Caron Lumbra and Helen Brady. Casie Poyssick (Land O'Lakes), who tied a single-season conference record with 26 goals, assisted on both scores.

"It's indescribable," said Brady, a senior midfielder in her fourth season at Saint Leo. "We've come so far as a program."

Added senior goalkeeper Amber Ferrol, who has allowed one goal in the past three games, "This year, I think we've been lucky. But also we've had better skill and better chemistry."

Florida Tech's Tara Eugenides, Poyssick's teammate on Land O'Lakes' Class 2A state championship team last season, helped her team avoid a shutout with a goal in the 75th minute.

"We've had a good year up till now," Paris said. "Even if we had fallen today it would have been a fantastic year.

"Now, we want to make the (SSC) final."

A win Friday would advance Saint Leo to Sunday's title game.

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