Guts, Guile Propel Eastern Florida Over Broward
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern Florida State College // October 18, 2014
TITAN MEN'S SOCCER DEFEATS BROWARD 3-2
ABOVE VIDEO: Watch a replay of Eastern Florida’s men’s soccer team emotional 3-2 victory over Broward College on Friday night at the Melbourne Campus.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Guts, guile and a last-minute goal, not to mention a last-second save, gave the Eastern Florida men’s soccer team an emotional 3-2 victory over Broward College on Friday on the Melbourne Campus.
Playing before the largest and loudest crowd of the season Eastern Florida overcame playing a man down – and allowing two goals in that span – to improve to 10-2-1 on the season.
More importantly the victory gave Eastern Florida the advantage heading into next Friday’s finale in the three-game series to determine which team advances to the NJCAA postseason.
Broward fell to 6-3-1.
The teams tied 1-1 in double overtime on Oct. 10 in Pembroke Pines making Friday’s match on Sophomore Night a must-win.
And Eastern Florida can thank its sophomores for supplying the key moments.
Eastern Florida got a first-half goal from sophomore Romario Grant for a 1-0 halftime lead and a second-half penalty kick goal from sophomore Ivan Magalhaes for a 2-0 lead.
But just as it appeared the Titans had things well in hand Broward came roaring back.
Eastern Florida sophomore defender Keenan King received a red card for pulling a Broward attacker down and the ejection left EFSC a man short with 25 minutes and 25 seconds to play.
Broward freshman Kamario Osbrone converted the subsequent penalty kick to make it 2-1. Twenty-one minutes later, with just 4:24 to play, Osbrone struck again for a 2-2 tie and by all appearances another overtime was looming.
But the Titans, who saw two apparent second-half goals waved off for offside calls, continued to press.
Broward freshman goalkeeper Julian Toro made a jumping save with 1:52 to play but 38 seconds later could not deny EFSC sophomore Justin Gavin.
Gavin, who has a knack for big goals – he scored the goal that sent Eastern Florida to the 2013 national tournament with a 1-0 home field victory over Louisburg College – beat Torro on an assist from sophomore Jordan Muir off a Kyle Carr flick with just 1:14 to play and the place went wild.
Gavin did his customary post-goal backflip and was mobbed by his teammates.
But Broward wasn’t finished. The Seahawks sent every player forward and had a great chance when EFSC freshman goalkeeper Nate Himes came out to deny a shot.
Himes got tangled up with a Broward player leaving an open net but sophomore defender Carr rushed to the rescue, clearing the ball with 17.6 seconds to play and preserving the victory.
“The ball was bouncing around in the box and I knew our keeper was down on the ground so somebody had to get to the line to clear it,” Carr said. “I just ran back and hoped I could get it out.
“It’s huge,” Carr added about the victory. “We tied the first game so a win tonight at home was really important. So we have to go there and take care of business. Either a tie or a win and we’re advancing.
“It was scary,” Carr added about playing a man short. ‘I think we held our nerves. It wasn’t the prettiest but we got it done.”
The Titans now have a one goal differential tie-breaking advantage heading into next Friday.
As for the game-winning goal: “We conceded a goal in the last five minutes, you can’t keep your head down,” Gavin said.
“You have to play until the ref blows the whistle. We got one more opportunity and I was like we’ve got to go for it and we did it.
“I scored the goal.”
Gavin’s tally also kept Eastern Florida’s perfect home field record over two seasons intact.
“We just love this field, the environment, our fans,” Gavin said. “People who support us, players on the bench, they keep the energy up and we just keep fighting until the end.”
And a fight it was.
“It’s a great collection of young men, the sophomores,” said head coach Oliver Twelvetrees.
“They were on the field for most of the game. A great bunch of guys. They deserved it, they worked for it. You get what you deserve in this game and we definitely deserved it tonight with 10 men.
‘We had five, 10 minutes where we were a little bit shell shocked but we re-organized. Once we calmed down, I thought we moved ball well. Obviously the last couple of minutes were crazy.
“You’ve got to have heart and determination,” Twelvetrees added. “The boys didn’t give up. They kept on going. They weren’t arguing the calls. They were just getting on with it, showing great professionalism. It shows their character to come back from those knocks and get it done.”
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