Panthers Pull Out Double-Overtime Soccer Win

By  //  September 10, 2012

Whittaker Tallies Game-Winner

RICHMOND HILL, GEORGIA – Florida Tech senior Kelly Whittaker scored two goals, including the game winner in the 104th minute, to give the Panthers a 2-1 victory in double overtime over Clayton State on Sunday at Devaul Henderson Park.

Florida Tech defeated Clayton State 2-1 in double overtime in a women's soccer game in Richmond Hills, Ga. on Sunday. (Image courtesy of Florida Tech)

The victory was sweet for the Panthers after No. 19 Florida Tech suffered its worst loss in nearly two years at Armstrong Atlantic on Friday.

Clayton State (3-1) tied the game at 1-1 in the 33rd minute. The game did not see another goal through the rest of regulation and one overtime period, totally a scoreless drought of 67 minutes.

Four minutes into the second overtime, Whittaker found the decisive goal for Florida Tech (3-1). Senior Chelsea Pushman found Whittaker cutting across from the outside. Whittaker struck the ball far side, beating the goalkeeper just inside the post, to end the game and give the Panthers a 2-1 victory.

“Chelsea sent me a really nice through-ball,” Whittaker said of Pushman’s pass. “I took it down the outside, then cut across and hit it as hard as I could before the defender got there.”

The teammates also connected for the game’s first goal in the 14th minute. Pushman sent a similar through-pass up the middle of the field to Whittaker on a give-and-go. Whittaker collected the ball and struck it past the Lakers’ keeper from the left side for an early 1-0 lead.

“We needed this win after a tough game on Friday,” head coach Fidgi Haig said. “The girls pulled through, especially the seniors. We made an adjustment in the back to try and minimize the amount of goals we were giving up, and the adjustment worked.”

The Panthers outshot Clayton State by a margin of 21-16, including a combined 4-1 margin through both overtimes. Whittaker and junior Carly Hunt led all players with seven shots each in the match.

Junior Paige Redmon (1-0) made the shift from forward to goalkeeper for today’s game. Redmon recorded five saves, including back-to-back saves in the final two minutes of regulation, to capture her first win and give Clayton State its first loss of the season.

It was just the second time the Panthers and Clayton State have met in the last four seasons. In 2008, the Panthers shut out the Lakers by a score of 2-0 in Columbus, Ga.

Florida Tech returns home Wednesday for a match against Tampa. The Panthers and Spartans will square off at Rick Stottler Field at 1 p.m.