Eastern Florida Titans Men Open Soccer Season With 3-2 Overtime Victory

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ABOVE VIDEO: The Eastern Florida State College men’s soccer team competes in the NJCAA and FCSAA. The program is located at the Titan Soccer Complex on the college’s Melbourne Campus in Brevard County, Florida.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Eastern Florida’s men’s soccer team was not to be denied on Saturday.

The Titans rallied from a 1-0 first-half deficit, shook off a game-tying goal with two minutes to play and knocked home a second penalty kick to win their season-opener 3-2 in overtime at Essex County College in Maryland.

The Titans scored twice within 19 minutes in the second half to take a 2-1 lead only to see Essex County knot it at 2-2 in the 88th minute.

That was just the beginning of the drama.

Titans freshman Nate Grant was taken down in the penalty area on a breakaway in the final seconds handing EFSC a penalty kick opportunity for the victory.

But freshman Juan Parda’s shot was saved by Essex Trevor Brookhart, who was stalwart all game long with 16 saves, sending things into overtime.

Essex began the extra period a man down due to the red card ejection issued for the take down on Grant’s breakaway and the Titans wasted no time taking advantage.

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Titans freshman Franco Massacessi was fouled in the penalty area just 1 minute and 13 seconds into overtime and sophomore Micah Smoak converted the penalty kick giving EFSC the victory.

Sophomore Yannick Koffi, assisted by freshman J.J. Donnelly, drew Eastern Florida even at 1-1 in 62nd minute and freshman Abdoulaye Cisse, assisted by Koffi, made it 2-1 Titans in the 81st minute.

Oliver Twelvetrees
Oliver Twelvetrees

“We created numerous chance to win the game,” said EFSC head coach Oliver Twelvetrees.

The Titans, ranked fourth in the nation, play second-ranked and 2014 national runner-up Monroe College of New York at 11 a.m. Sunday at Essex.

Essex is ranked 11th nationally.