Saints No Match for Panthers

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Women’s Soccer) – The Florida Tech Panthers pushed their record to 5-1
with a thrilling 4-1 win over the Saints of Flagler College on Wednesday. In the match the Panthers were able to showcase their young talent, playing eight
freshman.   It didn’t take long for the Panthers to get on the board. In the second minute of the match, sophomore forward Teresa Brantley found herself in a
one-on-one situation with senior goalkeeper Hope McArthur of Flagler. Brantley put it in for her third goal of the season.   Despite the early goal,
Florida Tech would need to play defense to get a win out of this match. The Saints’ Annika Hogberg, freshman midfielder, showed how powerful the Flagler
offense can be when she responded in the 25th minute of the first half. Sophomore forward Tiffany Urquhart passed the ball ahead to the corner for Hogberg
to run to. She did and scored a goal in the one-on-one for her 11th goal of the season and fourth in the last two matches.   At the half, the shots
were nine to seven in favor of Flagler. Sophomore goalkeeper Melissa Pyles, 23rd nationally in goals
against average and save percentage, had six saves in the first half but would only need to make one more in the second half.   Head coach
Fidgi Haig subbed in freshman midfielder Alyssa Esposito early in the second
half. She showed why when she placed a beautiful kick from outside the box for her first goal of the season. The ball went high and dropped just out of
McArthur’s reach in the top left corner of the goal 15 minutes into the half to push the score to 2-1.   Less than 10 minutes later, freshman
midfielder Sara Lewis
continued the onslaught with her first goal of the season. Freshman midfielder Brittany Carnegie kicked a well-placed
ball in front of the net and freshman midfielder Kelli Ragan was able to head the
ball to sophomore defender Jennifer
. Gillette passed it to Lewis for the finish.   The Panthers weren’t done yet. Freshman forward Amanda Hjalmarsson was on a breakaway
when she was taken down just outside the box. She received a free kick and displayed some elusiveness with quick moves. She faked kicking the long ball
only to dribble past a Flagler defender and score in the top right corner of the goal.   Hjalmarsson has displayed a remarkable knack for offense in
her brief time on the field. She is tied with sophomore midfielder Therese Svensson for assists on the
season and third on the team in points with five (two assists, one goal).   “Alyssa and Amanda were the difference for us today offensively,” Haig
said.   While fans are happy with a 5-1 record and a 4-1 win, Haig still is looking for more from his young team.   “We have to get better
though. We need to come more prepared for the game mentally,” Haig said. “We can’t take anything lightly. We have to be better at the basics and clean up
our fundamentals.”   But it was hard for Haig not to admit some of the positives from this match.   “This team is resilient. They always find a
way to get back on track within the same game,” Haig said. “They fight, and they work together as a team. They have a great team spirit.”

The Panthers start conference play against Lynn University in their next match at 4 p.m. on Saturday.


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