Florida Tech Panthers Deflated By Embry-Riddle, Fall 1-0
By Florida Tech // October 8, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – When circumstances aren’t going in your favor they sometimes just seem to snowball. Unable to snap out of its midseason funk, a frustrated Florida Tech squad stumbled to a 1-0 defeat at Embry-Riddle Wednesday night.
“We knew that if they got a goal, the longer the game went on the harder it was going to get,” said head coach Robin Chan.
“They made it difficult, sat in and didn’t give us a lot of space. When it’s 0-0 you can be more patient, but, obviously, when you go down a goal you’re forced to take more chances. We weren’t able to create enough clear opportunities.”
Neither side mustered much offense in the first half as the teams combined for eight total shots. Yet, with under five minutes before the halftime whistle, a Sam Sawyer yellow card gave Embry-Riddle a free kick on the edge of the box. However, the shot attempt sailed just over the crossbar to the relief of the Panthers.
Florida Tech dodged a few bullets early, but a sound showing by keeper Chris Page in just his second start of the season kept the score even entering the break.
A more urgent Florida Tech attack showed up in the second half. In the 56th minute, John Bocinsky served a beautiful ball in from the right wing to Adin Kavara, only to be turned away by a magnificent kick save from Eagles keeper Jeff Bone.
Just when it seemed as if Florida Tech’s pressure had forced Embry-Riddle to pack its defense in, the speed of forward Daniel Gylfason created a costly turnover in the Panthers’ own half that led to the eventual game-winner in the 67th minute by Pierre Hertin.
“We’re definitely in a challenging period right now as a collective group,” said Chan.
“The challenge for us is how we respond to this tough phase of the season. It’s about trying to find that little spark that’s going to give us the opportunity to breakout.”
An Embry-Riddle red card with 1:05 remaining in regulation gave the Panthers a glimmer of hope, but were unable to capitalize in the waning moments.
“Nothing’s going to come easy,” Chan said.
“The goal that’s going to come for us will probably be off somebody’s shin, some sort of ricochet. That’s the way it is at the moment for us.”
Despite the loss, Florida Tech outshot its opponent by a 13-8 margin, including 11-2 in the second half.
FIT will be off this Saturday before returning to the pitch in a conference clash with Nova Southeastern next Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Crimson and Gray blanked NSU 5-0 in its lone meeting with the Sharks a year ago.