The Tampa Spartans spoiled Senior Night in Melbourne, beating Florida Tech 3-1 in a Sunshine State Conference Men’s Soccer match on Saturday.
The Panthers had their chances throughout the contest, firing 20 shots (11 on goal) in the loss, with 16 of those coming in the second half.
Tampa (9-3-2, 4-3-1 SSC) jumped in front when Mike Ciluffo went one-on-one in the box, beat the defender and then beat Panthers’ goaltender Christian Moerch, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead 13:25 into the match. The goal was one of eight shots Tampa took in the first half.
Florida Tech (8-3-1, 5-3 SSC) did not have a shot on goal in the first half and took just four shots total. This was unfamiliar territory for the Panthers, who usually get off a good number of shots in each half. Credit to Tampa’s defense for shutting down the Panthers offensive attack in the first 45 minutes.
The Spartans scored the eventual game winner just 2:12 into the second half, off the foot of Jake Winship, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead. Florida Tech had their chances throughout the rest of the half, but early on, Spartans goalie Richard Trench was up to the task.
Senior Adin Kavara broke up Trench’s shutout bid when he converted a penalty kick with 10:50 to go in the match, closing the gap to 2-1. The home team kept the heat on, getting a handful of chances to tie the game, but Bay Downing stemmed the tide when he scored his first goal of the season, with 42 seconds left in the contest.
Trench finished with 10 saves in the second half, while Moerch had two. The Panthers edged the Spartans 7-6 in corners.
For more info: Tampa @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers will finish the regular season on Tuesday at Barry in a conference match set for a 7:00 p.m. start in Miami Shores.
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