Florida Tech Men’s Soccer Upsets No. 8 Lynn 2-1, Travel to Tampa Saturday
By Daniel Supraner, Florida Tech Director of Athletic Communications // October 20, 2017
Florida Tech Soccer now 9-2, 6-1 SSC
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech men’s soccer team picked up a major Sunshine State Conference victory Wednesday night, upsetting rival, No. 8 Lynn 2-1 at Rick Stottler Field.
An hour and a half rain delay and poor field conditions were not going to slow down the Panthers as they earned their first win over the Fighting Knights since 2012, and just the second victory in the series since 1994.
Florida Tech (9-2, 6-1 SSC) now takes over sole possession of second place in the SSC standings, while Lynn (9-2-1, 5-2-1 SSC) drops to third overall in the league.
“The boys came into this one business as usual,” said head coach Robin Chan. “Lynn is always a tough team but we felt good at home. This is a group of guys who enjoy the opportunity to play in big games. Tonight, we fought hard and stuck to our game plan. We are very happy to get the result over a really good Lynn team.”
Prior to tonight’s contest, Lynn had only allowed five goals in its first 11 games. However, tonight the Panthers put two into the back of the Fighting Knight net and have now increased their goal mark to 31 in their first 11 games, the second-most in the SSC this season.
The Panthers finished with more shots (10-9) and corner kicks (9-1) in the game. Christopher Page made two saves in the contest, improving to 7-2 in goal for Florida Tech this season.
Jan Hlavica opened up the scoring for the Panthers. The defender collected a pass from Brandon Smalley and blasted a shot past Lynn goalkeeper Alexander Roth from 30 yards out to give FIT the early lead, 1-0, in the 12th minute.
“Jan struck the ball as good as he could strike it,” Chan stated. “Things opened up for him and it’s just one of those individual moments you need to have as a team. It put us in a positive position and allowed us to stick to our plan the rest of the game.”
Early in the second half, Roth came way outside his net to clear the ball from Lynn’s defensive zone but he mistimed his kick and the ball bounced behind him. Evan Enders found himself in the right place at the right time, collected the ball with open space in front of him and fired it into the empty net to hand Florida Tech a 2-0 advantage in the 49th minute.
The Panthers continued to turn away the Fighting Knights challenges and preserved their lead for much of the second half. However, Lynn finally broke through in the 89th minute when Simon Kraemer scored on an Elliott Legg cross to make the score 2-1.
Lynn rushed the ball to the kickoff for another opportunity to tie the game but it was too little too late as the Panthers held on and picked up the upset on their home field.
Florida Tech will look to continue its impressive play when the Panthers travel to Tampa on Saturday, Oct. 21, for a 7 p.m. ET kickoff against the Spartans. Fans can access live coverage of the action at FloridaTechSports.com.
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