Florida Tech Soccer Defeats Saint Leo 2-0 in Season Opener at Rick Stottler Field

By  //  March 7, 2021

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Panthers' first competition in 488 days

The Florida Tech women’s soccer team kicked off its spring season in great fashion, defeating Saint Leo 2-0 on Sunday at Rick Stottler Field. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech women’s soccer team kicked off its spring season in great fashion, defeating Saint Leo 2-0 on Sunday at Rick Stottler Field.

The match marked the Panthers’ first competition in 488 days as well as the head coaching debut for Ryan Moon, who took over the reins of the program in May 2020.

“Today, the main focus was to just enjoy every minute of being able to play a match,” said Moon. “The last time these girls played was in November 2019, so they were raring to go. Our minimum expectation, after so long without playing, was to leave everything out on the field and outwork Saint Leo.

“We couldn’t have asked for anymore from them. They gave it their all and that is what it takes to win games. They have now set themselves a new standard to hit.”

It took just 11 minutes for Tech to get on the board as Alyssa Bartle found the back of the net. The senior raced down a long lead pass from Ashley Babiarz, tapped the ball past the Lions goalie and then scored on a shot just outside the box to put the Panthers up 1-0. It was Bartle’s first tally since Oct. 19, 2019, which coincidently also came in a game against Saint Leo.

The Lions had a chance to tie the game minutes later with a penalty kick opportunity. However, Miranda Choplin turned the attempt away, getting both hands on a high shot to the right side of the net to keep Tech on top.

The score remained 1-0 as time expired in the first half.

Florida Tech was able to double its lead with 21:16 to go in regulation. Alexis Sheely stole the ball from a Saint Leo defender in the Lions’ zone and fired off a long kick toward the net, catching the goalkeeper out of position as the ball trickled into the goal to put the Panthers ahead 2-0.

“We will take a lot of positives from today, both from a team performance and individual standpoint but it’s just the start, Moon stated. “We’ll be looking to continue to build on today as we go through the semester, one game at a time.”

Next up for the Panthers is an away match against Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday, March 20 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The time for kickoff at PBA Soccer Field is still to be determined.

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