SAINT LEO, Fla. (Men’s Soccer) – Florida Tech fought through some chippy play and questionable calls
through most of Saturday’s match. The Panthers fell to 1-3-1 in the SSC and 2-7-2 overall after losing to Saint Leo by a score of 3-1.
The match was back and forth at the beginning. Both teams were able to maintain control of the ball but there were few shots on goal. In the 14th minute
though, Saint Leo’s Jonathan Glenn was able to elude junior goalkeeper Cory Collins in a one-on-one breakaway
to score the first goal of the match.
The lead wouldn’t last long because the Panthers quickly struck back with a breakaway of their own. Freshman midfielder Tyson Eyo passed ahead to sophomore
forward Nicolás Garcia
running full speed toward the keeper. In a nifty move, Garcia put the ball around the keeper’s left side and ran around his right side to meet the ball
behind the goalkeeper and tap it in for Florida Tech’s first goal of the match.
Both goalkeepers saw their share of early action. The Lions were able to get another goal just over a minute after Garcia’s. Saint Leo’s Eusebio Montoya
was able to lure Collins out of goal. Once he was able to bypass Collins he shot. Senior defender and captain Chad Mason hustled to get the block,
but he wasn’t in time. The ball just entered the goal before Mason could kick it out.
The Lions applied pressure for most of the first half, but the Panthers were able to reverse field and find a few opportunities of their own. Florida Tech
caused a few close calls including a heads-up decision by sophomore forward Edward Oyarce. He was just past
midfield and caught the Saint Leo goalkeeper cheating up away from the goal. Oyarce tried to drop the ball in behind the keeper, but was just right of the
Early in the second half, the Panthers received a penalty kick due to a handball violation by the Lions, but graduate student Bello Illiassou couldn’t convert the
PK. Florida Tech used the PK as a starting point to apply consistent pressure in Saint Leo’s side of the field. Later, the Panthers teamed up to stonewall
a free kick by the Lions at the top of the box. After the ball deflected off the wall, the Panthers were able to clear it.
The third goal for the Lions was off a deep punt by the Lions goalkeeper. He kicked over most of both teams but Jonathan Glenn of Saint Leo was able to
come down with it and score.
The Panthers will see their next action at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Melbourne, Fla. against the College of the Bahamas.