Florida Tech’s Tsesmetsis Saves Season In 90th Minute, Defeats Barry 3-2 At SSC Tourney
By Florida Tech // October 29, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Stian Tsesmetsis has envisioned the moment in his head a number of times, but on Wednesday it became reality as the sophomore from Oslo, Norway notched the dramatic game-winning goal with 19.7 seconds remaining in regulation to send the Panthers to the Sunshine State Conference Tournament following a 3-2 victory over Barry.
“You always dream of these moments,” he said.
“It’s always in the back of your mind to score the winning goal. I was fortunate to do that today and it’s a great feeling.”
Florida Tech twice trailed in the match, first falling behind 1-0 in the 8th minute on a goal by Barry’s Patrick Borchert. However, the Panthers remained poised and displayed the desperation of a team fighting for a berth into the postseason.
“We challenged a few of them in different ways coming into the game,” said head coach Robin Chan. “We knew the commitment had to be there for us and I thought we had that, especially with our backs against the wall. We showed a lot of character tonight.”
Florida Tech eventually settled in and was able to equalize in the 34th minute. Awarded a free kick from roughly 30 yards out, Evan Enders played the set piece into the box towards Adin Kavara who capitalized on the opportunity with his eighth goal of the season.
Still knotted at 1-1 in the 60th minute, the Buccaneers regained the lead after Pablo Georgakopoulos’ corner kick was tapped in by Thomas Coombes.
In what potentially could’ve been his final SSC match of his career, Trey Collins wasn’t to be denied in the 67th minute. Dinged up in the first half, the Melbourne High School graduate returned following a brief absence and banged home the tying score to shift the momentum on the field.
Looking like the contest was headed for extra time, Florida Tech mustered one more opportunity in the 90th minute after earning its seventh corner kick of the night. Nicolas Dreyer sent a left-footed cross into the box that was flicked on to Tsesmetsis, who proceeded to give the Panthers their first win over a ranked opponent this season.
“I thought the boys deserved it,” said Chan.
“They worked hard and gave everything today. We said before the game, ‘Our playoffs started early today.’ We knew what we needed to do and we’re obviously happy with the result.”
The fifth seed in the SSC at the moment, FIT will now play the waiting game to see where it’ll wind up traveling for the opening round of the conference tourney on Nov. 3.
“This is the time of year when you want to be finding your form. We don’t really mind who we play next, to be honest. We’ve played everyone and know what we have to bring to the table. Our focus is on us right now. We’re happy to have the opportunity to continue the season.”