Panthers Show Resilience in Loss

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Men’s Soccer) – Still shorthanded, the Panthers traveled to Palm Beach, Fla. to play the Palm Beach
Atlantic Sailfish. Panther players and coaches saw bright spots in the 4-1 loss.   “We could have done a lot better, but we showed we could play with
anybody,” said freshman forward Adam
, who saw his first playing time of the season. “We just made a few mistakes that we can fix pretty easily.”   In an effort to
show how good this team can be, Busshaus contributed an assist on a beautiful play. Down 2-0 in the second half, freshman midfielder Justin Williams made a pass ahead to
Busshaus who attacked the Sailfish keeper.   “In that situation, the forward should always shoot. But I looked at the keeper, and he was right where
he should be.” said Busshaus. At that point he passed to Bello Illiassou.   “I thought Adam
was going to put it in,” said Illiassou. “I was surprised he passed, but I dove to get it and scored.”   That goal put the score at 2-1, and it showed
the Panthers’ resiliency.   “It was good that we got a goal back. We were fighting back,” said junior midfielder Ryan Hagerty. “We never gave up. When
they put two goals in tonight, it didn’t really affect our mentality.”   The team wasn’t helped by the loss of starting goalkeeper, junior
Cory Collins. Collins
tweaked his hamstring warming up before the match. Even though he was held out of this contest, he looks to play in the Panthers’ next
match-up September 2 against St. Andrews Presbyterian in Laurinburg, N.C.   “To lose Cory right at the start before he even kicks a ball is
certainly a blow,” said head coach Robin Chan. “When that happens,
it’s a mental challenge and a tough situation for the next goalkeeper.”   The next goalkeeper was junior Tim Matassa, who said he was up to the
challenge.   “It’s hard, but you have to be ready all the time,” said Matassa. “You have to have your game face ready no matter what.”   The loss
of Collins falls in line with the rest of the challenges the team has faced lately with regards to fielding the full team. Most teams face hardships at
some point in a season, but for the Panthers, that point is now.   “It just seems like we’re going through that time in the season to deal with
adversity, but we’re going to learn from these things we’re going through,” said Chan. “You learn the most when you’re on the wrong side of a loss. We’re
learning our lessons right now.”   Florida Tech did have more players available this week. Busshaus and freshman walk-on Peter Mindley, who has only been with
the team a few days, both started.   “It was the first day we had Adam out on the field, and I think he had a good account of himself,” said Chan. “He
brought a lot of energy to the team. It was also a good opportunity for Peter to get a little bit of experience.”   The play of Busshaus and Mindley
was uplifting, but the Panthers still aren’t at full strength.

“We had a couple of new faces in there from last game. Hopefully, we’ll get a few more before the weekend,” said Chan.


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