Melbourne, Fla. – The Knights first NJCAA national tournament game in 24 years did not go as planned yesterday as the No. 11 seeded CCBC Essex fell 5-0 to the No. 2 seed Eastern Florida State College in Pool B play at Orlando Health Stadium.
Eastern Florida (15-0) struck first at 17:13 on a breakaway goal by Julieta Limardo. Eleven minutes later, Limardo finished her brace to put the Titans up 2-0, after a ball played into the box was not cleared.
The Titans added a goal in the 36th minute. Paula Garrido hit a shot from about the 18 and while Lydia Morris (Mercy) made a great step to deflect the shot, it still had enough on it to give Eastern Florida a 3-0 lead at the break.
The Knights (19-3) had chances throughout and missed turning it into a different game by inches.
In the fourth minute, Dani Zacierka (Sparrows Point) took a cross from Taylor West (North Point) and put a one-timer on frame, but the Titans' Kiera Gibson made the save.
One minute later, Eastern Florida looked like they would have an early goal off a set piece that was sent into the box. Goalie Sam Tornatore (Eastern Tech) came off her line to cut it off and keep it scoreless.
In the 10th minute, Emily Vetri (Sparrows Point) broke up a scoring opportunity and 30 seconds later Tornatore stopped a one-on-one chance for the Titans.
The Titans continued to pressure the Knights defense in the 14th minute with a shot from 20 yards out, but Tornatore was there again to keep it 0-0.
Tornatore finished the game with 12 saves and now has 66 in over 1,592 minutes played this season.
The Knights' had another opportunity to get on the board in the 30th minute.
An Eastern Florida defender played a ball back to Gibson, but did not hit it hard enough.
Kara Dietrich (Perry Hall) took the ball one-on-one and made a great move on the keeper. Unfortunately, her shot hit the right post and the rebound was saved by Gibson.
One of CCBC Essex's last chances came in the 55th minute off a corner kick, as the subsequent shot hit a post again.
Pool play continues today for the Knights as they face No. 7 Gillette (Wyoming). Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The game can be watched at www.njcaatv.com and we will be sending updates on Twitter @CCBCEssexSports.