Panthers Edge Titans In Women’s Soccer

By  //  August 24, 2012

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Senior Kelly Whittaker’s experience and leadership showed up in crucial moments in Thursday’s exhibition against Brevard Community College.

Florida Tech's Kelly Whittaker scored twice in Thursday's exhibition against BCC, including the game winner in the 64th minute. (Image courtesy of Amanda Stratford)

The midfielder scored twice, including the game winner after the Titans had tied the game, to give Florida Tech a 3-2 victory at Rick Stottler Field.

“Kelly’s speed and ability to get behind a defense showed up in today’s game,” head coach Fidgi Haig said. “The defense of BCC was susceptible to a player like Kelly. She was able to have a field day.”

With the game tied at 2-2 in the second half, freshman Stephanie Langenberg, from her defensive position, led Erika Forsberg up the middle of the field. Forsberg spotted Whittaker coming down the left side and fed a cross to the left side of the box. Whittaker gathered the ball and struck it far-side and off the post to give Florida Tech a 3-2 lead and eventual win.

BCC scored just six minutes earlier to knot the game at 2-2 when Lois Edvardsson collected a loose ball from a goalie mishandle and put it in the back of the net.

The Titans opened the scoring just nine minutes into the first half when a defensive turnover gave Courtney Huesten a one-on-one chance with Panthers’ goalkeeper Emma Ahlstrand. Huesten capitalized to give BCC an early 1-0 lead.

Midway through the first session, Florida Tech got on the board when a perfect cross-pass from Ashley McGlashen found Whittaker for an easy tap in to tie the game at 1-1.

With 17 seconds remaining in the first half the Panthers took the lead. Freshman Ashley Vezina found Chelsea Belfer charging up the left side for an open-lane shot. Belfer drilled the ball past the Titan keeper to give Florida Tech a 2-1 halftime lead.

Florida Tech outshot BCC by a 21-3 margin, 13-2 in the second half. The Titan’s defensive scheme, however, made it difficult for the Panthers to connect. Florida Tech was offsides 13 times in regulation.

“We dealt with a defensive scheme that we do not encounter in the regular season,” Haig said. “They [BCC] defended with nine players in front of the box looking for us to come through. We weren’t patient enough with our passes at the beginning of the match, but as the game went on we got more patient and had more chances. It was a great learning experience, especially for the freshmen.”

“Overall, with the low pressure defense that BCC was playing against us, I think we did what it took to win the game and now we will move forward,” Haig Continued.

The Panthers will move forward to the regular season  Thursday when they travel to St. Thomas for a 4 p.m. kickoff.