Panthers Take On Tough Schedule For 2012
By Florida Tech // August 9, 2012
Back-To-Back Road Games To Start Year
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Reigning Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year Robin Chan has announced the Florida Tech men’s soccer schedule for 2012 and it’s going to present a challenge.
The 16-game regular season will include eight games at Rick Stottler Field before the SSC Championships begin in late October.
“The  schedule is looking to be one of the tougher schedules in a number of years,” Chan said. “We are going to be playing eight conference games plus four more (as non-conference) to give us a home-and-home series with four different SSC schools. That in itself makes it a really tough schedule.”
The eighth-year head coach will lead his Panthers in back-to-back road games to begin the season when they travel to St. Thomas on Friday, Aug. 31 for the season opener before traveling north to South Carolina to take on the Coker College Cobras on Sept. 4.
Prior to the season opener, the Panthers will travel to Orlando for an exhibition with Division I product, Central Florida on Aug. 19.
The Embry-Riddle University Eagles will be the Panthers’ first guest of the 2012 campaign when they travel to Melbourne on Sept. 8. Conference foe, Tampa will travel east to the Space Coast on Sept. 12 for its first of two meetings with the Crimson and Gray, but the contest will be a non-conference affair the first go-around.
Starting this season the SSC has adopted what they named plus-four scheduling for both men’s and women’s soccer. This scheduling allows the SSC members to get four extra South Region games by playing four conference teams a second time for a non-conference matchup. The Panthers will play Tampa (Sept. 12), Saint Leo (Oct. 17), Nova Southeastern (Oct. 24) and Lynn (Oct 27) in these contests.
Conference play will open on the road for Florida Tech when it takes on Nova Southeastern on Sept. 15. The Panthers will play six-straight conference games before taking on out-of-conference opponent Palm Beach Atlantic on Oct. 9.
Over the final five regular season games, Florida Tech will get its chance at 2011 NCAA Runner-Up Lynn University twice on Oct. 13 at home and then in Boca Raton on Oct. 27 to close out the regular season. Senior Day will be held during the regular season home finale on Oct. 24 against Nova Southeastern.
“We have a relatively young squad with the majority as underclassmen,” Chan said. “The speed in which they can adapt is going to be the biggest thing we are going to be looking for in order for us to be competitive in the conference.”
Chan will have 15 returners in 2012, but just five starters from the 2011 team. Of those five are leading goal scorer and point-getter Drake Hillman and three seniors, including redshirt seniors Brentton Muhammad, Gary Ogilvie and Robert Russell.
“There will be three seniors on the squad who we will look to as our leaders,” Chan expressed. “Brentton [Muhammad] is our starting goalkeeper and has been a strong leader for us. I think he has progressed a lot and is the strongest keeper in the conference at the moment.”
Muhammad started 14 of the 16 games in goal for the Panthers earning an 8-4-1 record with 0.85 goals against average and five shutouts. Hillman led the 2011 squad with 12 points on five goals and two assists.