Florida Tech Men’s Soccer Bows Out Early In SSC Quarterfinal, Season Ends

By  //  November 4, 2015

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Florida Tech had no answer for Rollins’ Matt Volk the first time both teams played back on Sept. 26, and in Tuesday’s Sunshine State Conference Quarterfinal the midfielder made Florida Tech pay yet again. (Image by Amanda Stratford Photography)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech had no answer for Rollins’ Matt Volk the first time both teams played back on Sept. 26, and in Tuesday’s Sunshine State Conference Quarterfinal the midfielder made Florida Tech pay yet again.

Volk opened the scoring in the sixth minute and notched the eventual game-winner in the 68th to lift the Tars to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Panthers at Barker Family Stadium.

The Panthers entered on a two-game win streak, but put themselves in an early hole in the first half.

Robin Chan

Robin Chan

“There was only going to be one team leaving the field feeling good tonight, that’s soccer,” said head coach Robin Chan.

“We couldn’t ask for any more effort from the boys, they gave everything again tonight. Wish it was us moving on, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Volk was a headache for Florida Tech in the year’s first meeting, recording a hat trick in a 4-3 Tars win, and was once more onto something in Tuesday’s opening-round match.

An errant clearance awarded Rollins a corner kick in the sixth minute, and was curled towards the far post by Taylor Cook. Leaping above the Florida Tech defense, Volk headed the ball to give the Tars the quick lead.

However, it took less than four minutes for the Panthers to respond. A foul by the Tars set Nicolas Dreyer up for a set piece roughly 30 yards out.

His left-footed service into the box was flicked off the head of freshman Jan Hlavica past Rollins keeper Drew Trautmann to even the score back up at 1-1.

In the 33rd minute, a long ball played by Trautmann keeper was played by Volk to the feet of Tosan Popo for a one-on-one scoring opportunity with Thorn. From there, the league’s prolific assist man converted his sixth goal of the season to help Rolllins regain the lead.

Florida Tech would claw back, though.

Upping the pressure on Rollins, the Panthers produced a scoring opportunity in the 65th minute that was eventually batted in off a Tars’ defender for an own goal.

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The burst off momentum was soon taken back by none other than Volk as he converted a Ben Grant cross from the right wing into the back of the net. Five of Volk’s nine goals this season came in his two matches against the Panthers.

“We fought our way back in,” said Chan.

“The boys have shown that fight all year. I thought we collected ourselves and got our spirit back in the right place. We probably had enough chances where it could have been easily the other way, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Florida Tech wouldn’t go quietly, finishing the night with a 17-13 shot advantage, but its last-gasp efforts were to no avail.

With the win, Rollins advances to face Tampa this Friday in the semifinal round of the SSC tourney, hosted by Saint Leo.

FIT finished the season 7-6-2.


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