Florida Tech Strikers Defeat Rollins 3-2 In OT
By Space Coast Daily // September 28, 2014
Panthers came back twice in regulation
WINTER PARK, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech Panthers opened Sunshine State Conference play Saturday afternoon, as they faced Rollins at Barker Family Stadium. The Panthers came back twice in regulation, and picked up the 3-2 victory in the second overtime period.
With the game in a scoreless deadlock, Rollins broke the tie in the 31st minute. Grant Blackhurst played the ball off his head and into the back of the net. Skyler Russell assisted on the play as Rollins took the 1-0 lead. The Panthers had an opportunity to tie the match in the 42nd minute. Senior Jeremy Tilley drilled a shot from outside the box, but Julian Grundler was able to make the diving save, and kept the Tars’ lead intact.
“We felt like we did not do well in the first half,” said head coach Robin Chan. “Rollins stepped up, and we did not respond well. We made the adjustment in the second half, and we played well. It was an even match, and when it goes into overtime, the game can go either way. Today we had that little bit of extra spirit, and we are happy to get the result.”
Rollins (4-3-0, 0-1 SSC) took seven shots in the first half with four on goal. The Panthers took five shots, and also had four on goal.
The Panthers (4-2-1, 1-0 SSC) kept up the offensive pressure in the second half, and tied the game at 1-1 in the 65th minute. Freshman Daniel Kristiansen played the ball into the box, and senior Drake Hillman sent his header into the net for his second goal of the season.
The action picked up with less than 20 minutes to play. Rollins retook the lead in the 71st minute, but the Panthers responded in the 72nd. Junior Nicolas Dreyer blasted a shot from 30-yards out into the back of the net, which brought the Panthers back to even at 2-2. Rollins had a chance towards the end of regulation to get the go-ahead goal, but Kristiansen made the save for the Panthers, and the match headed into overtime.
Neither team scored in the first overtime, as the match headed into a final 10 minute period. In the 107th minute, sophomore Adin Kavara played a long pass up to sophomore Jack Willison, who then put the match away with the game-winning goal. The goal was the third of the season for Willison, and gave the Panthers the 3-2 victory.
The Panthers finished the match with 14 shots, seven of which were on goal. The Tars took 15 shots with nine on goal. Junior keeper Mitch Thorn made six saves for the Panthers, and Grundler made four for Rollins.
“The conference is shaping up to have many games like this,” Chan said. “It is good to get the three points, but it is only the starting point for us. We need to make sure we prepare ourselves well, because going to Nova will be a challenge.”
The Panthers hit the road on Wednesday as they continue SSC play at Nova Southeastern. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The match is also part of a doubleheader with the Panther women.