The Florida Tech men’s soccer season was delayed by mother nature on Saturday, as they waited just over an hour to get their opening game underway. In the end, the wait was worth it, as the Panthers took down Francis Marion Patriots, 4-2 at Rick Stotler Field.
Florida Tech (1-0) erased two one goal deficits in the match and scored three times in the second half, to secure the victory. Per Henrik Nag and Brandon Smalley led the Panthers offensively, posting a goal and an assist each. Evan Enders and Hugo Lopez had the Panthers other tallies.
Although things ended well for the Panthers, they certainly didn’t start that way. The Patriots got on the board early, as Levin Sandmann sent an awkward knuckler toward the net that Panthers goalie Chris Page had go through his legs, just 45 seconds into the proceedings.
It took Florida Tech until the 16:53 mark to answer, as Enders took a pass from Nag and buried it into the right corner of the net, tying the game at one. The tie didn’t last long, as the Patriots answered less than six minutes later, as Sandmann took a corner kick and Colin McPartin, headed it in. The visitors took that 2-1 lead into the halftime break.
Florida Tech drew first blood in the second half, with as Smalley found Lopez on a cross into the box and Lopez cashed it in off his right foot, tying the game at two.
The game remained tied until the 81st minute. Nag was fouled in the box, resulting in a penalty kick and he capitalized, drilling it by Francis Marion goaltender Washington Bgoni and giving the Panthers their first lead of the match.
Smalley put the icing on the cake at the 85:54 mark, when he got behind the Patriots defense on a breakaway, beating Bgoni and giving his team the final tally in the victory.
For more info: Francis Marion @ Florida Tech Box Score
Despite being down twice in this game, the Panthers out shot FMU 16-4, firing five shots on goal, compared to only two for the Patriots. Florida also had a decided advantage in corner kicks, to the tune of 17-4. There were 33 fouls called in this game, 20 of those on Francis Marion.
Yellow cards were plentiful as well, with each team picking up five.
Florida Tech will be back at it on Labor Day, as they host the Shorter Hawks at 1:00 p.m. at Rick Stotler Field.
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