The Florida Tech Men’s Soccer team suffered a 2-1 defeat Sunday afternoon, at the Hands of Palm Beach Atlantic, in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Panthers finished the 2016 season with five losses, two of those coming against the Sailfish.
Florida Tech went down 1-0 when Charlie Dennis sent a rocket past Panthers goaltender Christian Moerch. The Sailfish defense was tough in the first half, holding the Panthers to just two shots in the first half, one on goal.
Josh Thomas took the first shot 32:47 into the match and it was saved by Elliott. The second shot by Hugo Lopez went wide, at 39:47.
Florida Tech (11-5-1) got things going in the right direction, early in the second half. The Panthers 2016 leader in goals, Luca Campanini got away from the PBA defense and launched a shot from the top of the box. Barker made the stop but gave up a rebound and Lopez drilled it home, equaling the score with 27:18 left in the game.
Moerch kept the game tied with a save against Fredo Dilbert at the 77:17 mark. Just over a minute later, after a corner kick by Lucas Coutinho, Dennis got inside and got a pass from Cameron Roberts and pushed it by Moerch and into the net, giving the home team a 2-1 lead. It was the ninth goal of the season for Dennis.
The Panthers fought hard in the last few minutes of the match, with shots on goal by Brandon Smalley with 4:29 left and another by Josh Thomas 12 seconds later, both saved by Barker.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Palm Beach Atlantic Box Score
The Panthers had six shots on goal and led in overall shots 11-10, but in the end, Barker’s four saves in the second half were the difference in the match and he is the reason his team is moving on.
PBA (13-4-1) will take on Tampa in the South Region championship game on Friday. For the Panthers, this was a tough way to end their season.