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Panthers Soccer Opens Conference Play With Win at Eckerd

A 13-day layoff did not hurt the Florida Tech Men’s Soccer team, as they opened their Sunshine State Conference schedule, with a 4-1 win over Eckerd on Saturday. With the victory, the Panthers improved to 4-1 overall. 

Despite a decided advantage for the Panthers in shots, 20-5 and shots on goal, 11-2, it was Eckerd who drew first blood, with Juan Tejada beating FIT goalie Christopher Page in the 40th minute, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.  

The Tritons took that lead to the locker room, but the Panthers got things going in the second half, with four unanswered goals.  

Hugo Lopez and Brandon Smalley combined to even the match in the 67th minute, when Lopez found Smalley open and got it to him, ahead of the defense and he drilled just inside the post, past Tritons goaltender Alex Gott. 

It took less than 10 minutes for the Panthers to get the game-winner, as Smalley assisted Stian Hagboe Olsen on a free-kick goal that was tucked just inside the right goal post.  

Lopez got another assist in the 82nd minute when he found Evan Enders with an on-target diagonal pass that Enders finished, giving the Panthers a 3-1 lead. 

Lopez finally got a goal of his own about five minutes later, when he banged home a rebound of a Per Henrik Nag shot, giving the Panthers a 4-1 lead and the eventual victory. 

The game could have been even more one-sided, if not for Gott’s seven saves. Page was credited with just one, coming in the first half.  

There were seven yellow cards issued in this match, which is not a huge surprise considering it was a conference game. Four cards were issued to the Panthers. 

The Panthers road trip continues Tuesday, as they travel to Nova Southeastern for another conference match. The scheduled start time is 7:00 p.m. EDT. 

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