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Flagler Beats FIT in OT

Keira McCarthy scored the only Florida Tech goal on Wednesday. James Ragan Photography

Sara Sandberg scored early and late on Wednesday night, helping host Flagler beat Florida Tech 2-1 in a women’s soccer regional matchup. Sandberg’s second goal of the night came in the first overtime period, giving the Saints their second win of the season.

For Florida Tech (2-3-1) the loss snapped a two-game winning streak. Keira McCarthy scored the only goal of the night for FIT. She took two shots on goal against Saints goalie Maddison Lipson, cashing in at the 31:26 mark.

Florida Tech got a couple early shots against Lipson. Maria Munoz forced her to make a save 3:35 in. Flagler bounced back quickly, as Sandberg found the back of the net 56 seconds later, beating FIT netminder Maria Sanchez Recuero with a hard shot and giving Flagler a 1-0 lead.

Munoz was robbed again 13:18 in when Lipson came up with another save. Recuero made a save on another Sandberg shot 14 minutes later.

Macey Hedelund would get a corner kick with 14:58 remaining in the half and although the Panthers came up empty on that, they kept the pressure on, and Kelley Johnson found McCarthy with a nice pass in the box and she sent it to the back of the net, tying the game 1-1.

Flagler (2-1) had a couple late chances in the half, with Recuero making another save on Sandberg with 5:05 left and with 1:55 left Mia Pencak hit the crossbar. That sent the teams to the half, tied.

Florida Tech took eight shots in the opening stanza, three on goal. Munoz and Veronica Thordardottir took two shots each. Recuero made two saves, while Lipson made one. Sarah-Lisa Dubel took over for Lipson to start the second half.

Flagler came out firing in the second half, earning four corners in the first 53 seconds. Myiah Russack-Cradeur looked primed to give the Saints the lead when she raced down the field and rocketed one toward the net, only to see Recuero dive and just get a hand on it, keeping the game even with 39:29 left in regulation. Recuero was forced to make another save on Brin Wexler nine seconds later.

Sandberg had an opportunity to break the tie but hit the crossbar with just under 15 minutes elapsed in the half. Dubel made a save on McCarthy seconds later. With 12:05 left, Brittany Etrick had a great chance for Florida Tech with a header, but Dubel made that save and then denied Hedelund on the rebound.

With 19:42 left in the second half, Charlene Nowotny was awarded a penalty kick and Recuero came up huge, with a diving save. The last best chance for the Panthers came with 4:22 left in regulation when Dubel made a save on Munoz.

That sent the game into overtime and it took just 3:36 for Nowotny to find Sandberg, who ripped a one-timer by Recuero, giving Flagler the win.

Flagler took 12 shots in the second half and overtime, finishing with 16. The Saints eighth shot on goal was the game winner. Florida Tech ended the night with 12 shots, seven on goal. Flagler took 10 corners, to Florida Tech’s four.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Flagler Box Score

Florida Tech returns home Saturday to host Palm Beach Atlantic in the first Sunshine State Conference match of the season. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Rick Stottler Field.