The Florida Tech Panthers led twice on Wednesday, but couldn’t hold on against 13th-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato. Molly Sarafolean scored with 38 seconds remaining in a tie game to give the home team a 3-2 win and send the Panthers to their second loss of the season.
Freshmen goalie Maria Sanchez Recuero started her third consecutive game in goal for the Panthers and held her own, despite being under siege for much of the day.
Minnesota State-Mankato (2-0) took 28 shots, 15 on goal and Sanchez Recuero made 12 saves. Florida Tech took 18 shots, eight on goal. The Mavericks took nine corners in this game, compared to the Panthers two.
Sanchez Recuero barely got to settle in before she was forced to make a save with 1:10 gone. She made another save on a shot off the foot of Maddy Burandt at 15:40 and moments later, a shot by Alesha Ducinni was punched away by Sanchez Recuero, up and over the net.
Minnesota Mankato’s best first-half chance came on a shot by Dakota Wendell and the Mavericks kept the pressure on until Sanchez Recuero covered the ball with 37:42 gone in the half.
Florida Tech (0-2-1) turned the offense up with 40:40 left, started with a corner by Macey Hedelund. After a shot by Keira McCarthy went high, the Panthers got the ball back and Maria Munoz found Veronica Thordardottir, who beat Alexa Rabune to give FIT a 1-0 lead.
That goal was one of only two shots on goal from Florida Tech and they took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break. They took 12 shots overall, with Munoz firing five of those.
The Mavericks got the first chance in the second half and they cashed in 1:04 in when Morgan Cottew took a pass from Julia Zach and tied the game 1-1.
Florida Tech answered at the 55:24 mark, when McCarthy, who has two goals in the early going this season was robbed on a good shot, but Rabune couldn’t corral it and the rebound came out to Elisabeth Stoffel, who ripped it home, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
The Mavericks tied the game on a free kick from Abby Hausken. Not sure if the ball took a weird turn, or what happened, but the ball went into the net and with 26:05 to go in the game, it was 2-2.
It looked as though this game was headed to extra time, but with just 38 seconds remaining, Duccini found Sarafolean, who shot high over the head of Sanchez Recuero, to give her team the victory.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Minnesota State Mankato Box Score
The Panthers will look to rebound Friday night when they host Delta State out of the Gulf South Conference in their home opener at Rick Stottler Field. The game is set for a 7:00 p.m. start.