Tech Seniors Bid Farewell with 5-2 Win over Rollins College
MELBOURNE, Fla.- Tech forward Mohammed Al-Sharif (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) and midfielders Gerardo Valerio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) and Ramiro Rodriguez
(Montevideo, Uruguay) put on a show for the home crowd by scoring four of Tech’s five goals against SSC rivals Rollins College for a 5-2 win. This marked
the last time Panther fans would see Al-Sharif, Valerio, or Rodriguez dawn a Florida Tech jersey as Tech celebrated their Senior Day today and the
graduating athletes gave supporters something to remember.
Ramiro Rodriguez put the first point on the board for the Panthers in the 15th minute of play when he smacked a free kick off the defenders’ wall past the
goalie. Rollins College quickly answered back with a score off the foot of senior defender Daniell Robertson (Stockton-on-Tees, UK) on a penalty kick in
the 29th minute. They would take the lead for the first and only time in the game in the 34th minute off a shot at the top of the goal box by senior
midfielder Ben Owen (Oakham, UK), assisted by junior midfielder Juan Kusnir (Maitland, Fla.).
Mohammed Al-Sharif scored two goals for the Panthers. His first score came in the 36th minute tying the game 2-2 when he took a long shot which the
opposing goal could not hold on to as it bounced off his arm and into the net. His second goal came in the 64th minute off a cross by teammate junior
Temidayo Apena (Lagos, Nigeria) that Al-Sharif headed in to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead.
Tech scored their fourth goal when freshman forward Matthew Cermak (Melbourne, Fla.) took a free kick for the Panthers in the 74th minute which the Rollins
goalie deflected onto the left post and in.
In the 83rd minute Al-Sharif created a break-away situation in which he dribbled past the goalie only to be taken down in the penalty box. He gave the
penalty kick opportunity to fellow senior Gerardo Valerio who put the ball in back of the net for Tech’s final goal of the game.
Florida Tech senior goalie Ashley Foster (Richmond, TX) will also be graduating this year. Foster has played in three games for Tech, two of which he
started, and has posted a 6.71 save average.
Tech’s freshman goalie Cory Collins (Melbourne, Fla.) recorded his fourth win of the year, saving three shots-on-goal. Both Valerio and Rodriguez received
yellow cards in the match, as did Robertson for Rollins.
With the win the Panthers improve to 4-8-1 overall, and 2-5 in the Sunshine State Conference. Rollins falls to 9-5 overall, and 5-2 in conference. Tech
ends their season next Saturday on the road against SSC rivals Saint Leo. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 pm.