Lakeland, Fla. (Men’s Soccer) – The Florida Tech Panthers notched another win as they ran over the Florida Southern Moccasins in a 3-1 win
to push the Panther record to 2-6-1 and 1-2 in the Sunshine State Conference.
Both teams set the tone of the match early with physical play. There were 23 fouls for each team. Florida Southern scored first in the 30th minute of the
first half. However, that would be the last time the Mocs would see a goal thanks to some outstanding saves by junior goalkeeper Cory Collins and great team defense.
The Panthers would score three unanswered goals to bring home the win. The onslaught began with only 33 seconds left in the first half. In his first action
of the season, freshman defender Dan
Smith kicked a ball down the right side that sophomore forward Nicolas Garcia was able to corral.
Garcia dribbled into the box for the shot and the tie.
Early in the 55th minute, the Panthers were able to make the Mocs pay for leaving freshman midfielder Justin Williams alone. He broke free in
the corner and was able to send the ball in front of the net. Garcia tried for a goal but it was blocked by a Moccasin defender. Graduate student
Bello Illiassou found
the rebound and the ball found an open net.
“I knew it was time,” Illiassou said. “I felt really good today, and I’ve been feeling it since last night.”
Florida Tech kept the score at 2-1 despite pressure from Florida Southern, but the Panthers broke loose again. Seconds after subbing in, junior forward
Brad Laporte found the
ball on a breakaway. He was able to score in the one-on-one with the Moccasin goalkeeper to put the game out of reach with less than three minutes left to
“It was a physical game, and I thought we’d have a chance for opportunities with fresh legs on the field,” head coach Robin Chan said about his well timed choice to substitute.
The Panthers out shot the Mocs by a margin of 9 to 5 in the second half. They plan to use this match for momentum as they head into a rivalry game with
Rollins in the second half of a doubleheader in Melbourne on Saturday. The men will play at approximately 4:30 p.m. after the women’s match against