Junior Sara LeBrun scored a single game program record eight goals but it wasn't enough as Tampa stormed back late in the game to take a 17-16 nonconference contest on Friday afternoon to wrap up the Wildcats' trip to Florida.
The Wildcats (1-3) scored four of the final five goals to end the first half and go into the break leading 11-8, but the Spartans (3-3) scored four of the final five goals in regulation, including the game-winner with 1:23 to play for the one-goal victory.
LeBrun led the attack with her program record eight goals, ripping the twine eight times out of her 10 shots. She bested the record set in 2011 by Danielle Niccoli when she scored seven at Post.
Trailing 5-3, the Wildcats scored three straight to grab the 6-5 lead with 7:51 to play in the first half. Tied at 7-7, LeBrun scored back-to-back goals before LeBrun and La'Dae Boykin added the two final goals of the half to lead 11-8.
Maddie Hewitt tallied the first goal of the second half to make it three straight and the 12-8 lead. But the Spartans scored five of the next six goals, including three straight to tie the game at 13-13 with 11:40 to play.
LeBrun answered right back with back-to-back goals in a matter of 22 seconds to give the Wildcats the lead once more with 9:23 to play. Tampa scored to climb to within a single goal with 8:06 to play before the teams met a stalemate for the next four minutes.
Tampa struck again with 3:52 to play to tie the game at 15-15 before Shannon Sweeney gave the home team the lead on a free position shot with 3:35 to play. Lebrun answered back again with her eighth goal to tie the game with 1:52 to play, but Sweeney retaliated 29 seconds later with the game-winner.
Katie Spence won the ensuing draw control but Spartan goalkeeper Wylie Cassidy stopped a free position shot by Hewitt with 1:05 to play and stopped another shot by LeBrun with 30 seconds to play to secure the victory for the home team.
The Wildcats outshot the Spartans 36-27 but Cassidy made 15 saves to keep the Spartans in the contest. The Wildcats also held the advantage in ground balls, 19-13, draw controls, 24-11, and took eight more free position shots, 13, to Tampa's five.
Rebekah McCurry added three goals and three assists for the Wildcats while Spence scored two goals and two assists as well. McCurry also set a single game record with 13 draw controls, knocking Niccoli off the top spot again as she secured 11 draws in 2008 at Dominican.
Senior Chelsie Maher picked up five ground balls while McCurry added four. McCurry also led the team with five caused turnovers.
The Wildcats return north for their next contest and their home opener. Wilmington welcomes East Stroudsburg on Tuesday, March 10 at the WU Athletics Complex at 4 p.m.