Florida Tech Men’s Soccer Team Blanks No. 22 Rollins Tars, 1-0
By Florida Tech // September 26, 2016
3-0 conference mark best in nine seasons
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — The Florida Tech men’s soccer team (5-0-1, 3-0 SSC) continued its run through Sunshine State Conference play on Saturday as the Crimson & Gray upended the 22nd-ranked Rollins Tars (4-2-1, 0-1-1 SSC) by a score of 1-0 at Rick Stottler Field.
The 3-0 mark is the Panthers’ best start in league action over the past nine seasons.
“Being 3-0 in conference play is a good place for us to be in at this point of the schedule,” stated head coach Robin Chan. “In this conference, everyone takes their lumps sometime during the year. Picking up as many of these points as we can, in this stage of the season, will be very important down the stretch.”
The Tars controlled much of the play in the opening period, outshooting FIT 10-3 while earning more corner kicks 4-1. However, Christian Moerch was up to the challenge and made four first half saves for the Panthers to keep the game scoreless after 45 minutes of action.
In the second half, FIT picked up the pressure in all areas of the field. The Panthers began creating turnovers and peppering the Tars defense and goalie Drew Trautmann.
After the Panthers’ aggressiveness forced a broken play by RC, Brandon Smalley collected the ball and moved it up the right sideline. He then fired a cross towards the box and connected with Adin Kavara, who headed the ball into the lower right corner for the eventual game-winner in the 65th minute.
Rollins got off five more shots over the final 25 minutes of the match. However, Moerch continued to provide the answer and kept the Tars off the board until the final whistle blew.
Moerch (4-0-1), who collected his second clean sheet of the season, finished with six saves in the victory, while his counterpart Trautmann (4-2-1) ended the game with five saves.
The Panthers will need another big game out of the freshman goalkeeper in their upcoming matchup against SSC provisional member Palm Beach Atlantic, a club that reeled off 17 wins and a berth to the Elite Eight in 2015.
“This is one of the challenges of being in the conference we’re in, we play a lot of top level teams,” said Chan.
“Next week we go to Palm Beach Atlantic and they’re a very strong team. It’s going to be a tough game. We’ll do our best to prepare in these next few days, then go in there and give everything we have and hopefully come out with a positive result.”
Florida Tech squares off with PBA on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. ET in West Palm Beach, Florida.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE FLORIDA TECH SPORTS