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By ROD GIPSON

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2000


TAMPA -- UT's cross country squads will attempt to prolong what has been an outstanding season Saturday when they compete at the NCAA Southeast Region meet at the University of North Florida. Both teams are competing there by virtue of third-place finishes at the Sunshine State Conference meet last Saturday.

The men's team will be led by its talented group of freshmen: Nick Kraus, Doane Greenidge, Brian Taylor and Jamal Razavian. Greenidge, a standout at Leto High, placed eighth at the SSC meet, earning second-team all-conference honors.

Taylor, Kraus and Razavian also have taken turns as the Spartans top finisher and are at full strength with Kraus cleared to run. He was forced to pull out of the SSC meet after about a mile with an ankle injury.

On the women's side, Tracy Buxton has been outstanding. She placed fourth at the SSC meet en route to being named first-team all-conference. She has three first-place finishes. In the South Region meet, two teams and two individuals advance to the NCAA Championship Meet on Nov. 18 at Cal-Poly Pomona. MEN'S SOCCER: UT's post-season hopes ended Saturday when it fell 3-2 at No. 9 Lynn. The Spartans, ranked fourth regionally, are 13-4 and 4-2 in the SSC and end the regular season Saturday at Pepin-Rood Stadium with a 7:30 p.m. match against Florida Tech (2-13, 0-5).

Kareem Escayg and Ryan Godfrey scored for the Spartans and remain two of the team's three scoring leaders. Roy Fink leads UT with 14 goals and three assists while Escayg has six goals and three assists and Godfrey has seven goals.

UT still will end the season with a tremendous turnaround. It was 6-8-2 a season ago. WOMEN'S SOCCER: After losing to No. 3 North Florida last week, the Spartans end the season Saturday in Boca Raton against No. 9 Lynn. The Spartans are not without incentive to play hard, having never beaten Lynn and being outscored 11-1 in their two meetings. Also, a win would give UT 13 wins for the first time in history.

Junior forward Tai Kirklin has a shot at conference player of the year. Kirklin's 21 goals are tied for the league lead and her 48 total points are third most in the SSC. Susan Vaughn is fourth in the league with a 1.79 goals against average. And junior midfielder Stacey Estes is fifth in assists with 10.

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