Rollins Tars Beat Florida Tech Panthers With Last Minute Goal

By  //  September 28, 2015

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Madeleine Keenan makes a run past two Rollins defenders in Saturday’s 1-0 loss. (Amanda Stratford Photography Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – In a match dominated by defense, Rollins cashed in when it had the opportunity.

With overtime nearing, the Tars’ Kathryn O’Brien converted a rebounded shot in the 89th minute to upend Florida Tech 1-0 Saturday night at Rick Stottler Field.

A stingy Florida Tech defense appeared in line to collect its second consecutive shutout, limiting the Tars to just two shots on goal the entire match, but a slight lapse cost it in the waning moments of regulation.

Dustin Smith
Dustin Smith

“I think the defense played tremendously,” said head coach Dustin Smith. “We did a great job of containing Rollins, limiting its dangerous attack that it brings in.

“In the first half, I feel like we controlled possession and had some opportunities. They made an adjustment or two in the second half and happened to capitalize in the last minute.”

Legitimate scoring chances were tough to come by for the Panthers, as they’ve now combined to score just one goal in their past two contests. Freshman Madeleine Keenan led the way with two shots on target, but the absence of leading goal scorers Keira McCarthy and Aubri Williamson has seemed to catch up to the team.

“It’s tough when you’re used to playing a certain way and now have to use a different strategy and rely more on our defense,” said Smith.

“I thought the girls adapted to that very well, as shown this evening and in the game at Saint Leo. Again, it’s unfortunate with the result but we’ll continue to build from it.”

Despite the defeat, the Panthers remain in the thick of the Sunshine State Conference race as all nine tournament-eligible teams have at least one loss.

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All three of Florida Tech’s losses this season have come against ranked opponents.

The Panthers will now turn their attention towards Palm Beach Atlantic, as they set to meet the Sailfish on the road Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. FIT edged Palm Beach Atlantic 2-1 in last year’s lone meeting.