The Florida Tech Men’s Soccer team moved to 2-0-1 on the season with a 1-0 victory over West Alabama Tigers on Sunday. Evan Enders beat West Alabama goalie Brad Louis with a shot at the 31:26 mark and the Panthers were able to make it hold up.
Luca Campanini, who had one goal last week in a 1-1 tie with Mississippi College, got an early chance on Sunday, getting a header on goal, that was saved by Louis 2:58 into the game. The next best chance for Florida Tech came with 17:56 gone in the first half, when a West Alabama defender knocked the ball down with his arm, resulting in a penalty kick.
Senior forward Adin Kavara, who had never missed a penalty kick in his career took the shot. Louis lunged to his left, guessing right and knocked the shot away, keeping the game scoreless. Jack Turnbull got a shot off against Louis with 27:37 left in the half, but Louis was again up to the task.
The Tigers (0-3) managed just one shot in the first half, as the defense took care of business keeping the Tigers away from goalie Chris page. On the other side, the Panthers had 11 first half shots, with Louis making five saves.
Page was tested for the first time with 51:49 gone, making a save on Harrison Roberts. Just over two minutes later, Per Henrik Nag sent a header toward goal, that Louis was able to grab. The Panthers kept up the offensive pressure and Evan Enders finally solved Louis, with 31:20 left in the contest.
Freshman Brandon Smalley got the primary assist, earning his first point in a Panthers uniform. Nag picked up a secondary assist on the play and Florida Tech took a 1-0 lead.
The Panthers did not sit back on that one goal, they continued to take shots and get scoring chances. Campanini had a corner that was tipped over the net with just under 29 minutes left and Jan Hlavica headed a shot that Louis made the save on. Hlavica had a shot soon after that hit the crossbar.
Enders had a great chance in there as well, beating the defense and getting a one-on-one chance, but he lost the ball in front, just before taking the shot.
After jawing back-and-forth with the officials for much of the day, the Tigers bench was hit with a yellow card. There were no further issues, but you don’t see that often.
Overall, it was a solid effort for the Panthers on Sunday, as they took 21 shots for the second straight week. Eight of those shots were on goal and Enders made one count. FIT also had 10 corner kicks, seven of those coming in the second half.
For more info: West Alabama @ Florida Tech Box score
The Panthers open their Sunshine State Conference schedule on Saturday, September 17 at home against Eckerd. The game will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Rick Stottler Field.
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