Reserve Goalkeeper Julie O’Brien Shines for Panthers
MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Florida Tech women’s soccer team received a stellar effort from freshman reserve goalkeeper Julie O’Brien (Franconia, N.H.) and the
Panthers battled 11th-ranked University of Tampa to a 1-1 tie in a Sunshine State Conference match earlier today at Rick Stottler Field.
With the Panthers trailing 1-0 in the 13th minute, Florida Tech coach Fitzgerald Haig inserted O’Brien into the lineup, and she managed to shut down the
nation’s sixth-best scoring offense, recording nine saves in just over 97 minutes of action.
Tampa (10-1-2, 4-0-1 SSC), which entered the match averaging four goals per game, jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead just 8:35 into the contest. Freshman
Marissa Mohammed (Stafford, Va.) found the net for the fifth time this season from 10 yards out off assists from freshman Brittney Evans (DeLand, Fla.) and
sophomore Sara Stack (Palm Harbor, Fla.).
From that point forward, the Spartans would continue putting the pressure on Florida Tech, but could not get a ball past O’Brien once she stepped onto the
field. Tampa outshot the Panthers 30-5, including a 7-1 edge over two 10-minute overtime periods. UT also claimed a 15-0 edge in corner kicks.
Florida Tech (5-5-2, 1-2-1 SSC) closed out the scoring late in the first half, as sophomore Ericka Hildreth (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) converted a penalty kick in
the 37th minute for her seventh goal of the season.
In addition to O’Brien’s solid play, junior defender Rocio Hernandez (Madrid, Spain) also provided strong play on the back line, recording two back saves.
Florida Tech will return to action on Friday against SSC rival Lynn University in Boca Raton at 3:00 p.m.