Two goals in the span of 3:50 allowed the Nova Southeastern Sharks to hold off the Florida Tech Panthers 3-1 on Wednesday, in a Sunshine State Conference match. The loss drops the Panthers to 4-5-1 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
The final Nova goal by Emma Heikkila came with 6:10 remaining and just 57 seconds after Keira McCarthy had scored the only Florida Tech goal of the night, to draw the Panthers to within a goal, 2-1.
McCarthy’s goal was scored 2:53 after Jemma House made it 2-0 Nova. In all, there were three goals in three minutes.
Maria Sanchez Recuero got the start in goal for Florida Tech and watched as her team took six of the first seven shots, including one by Maria Munoz that hit the crossbar with 34:30 left in the first half. Munoz had another chance a few minutes later, but NSU goalie Natalie Robayna made the save.
Despite the Panthers having the bulk of the early shots, the Sharks struck first, with Adanna Edwards getting around her defender and beating Recuero and giving the home team a 1-0 in the 42nd minute that held when the halftime horn sounded.
Brittany Etrick had an early chance in the ninth minute of the second half, but Robayna made the save. A corner kick by Macey Hedelund followed, but the Panthers came up empty. She would get another corner three minutes later but to no avail.
The Sharks (7-4, 2-1 SSC) turned the offense up a notch in the 72nd minute and had two shots go wide before House came away with a steal and booted it home with 9:10 left in the game, giving NSU a 2-0 lead.
Munoz found McCarthy moments later to close the gap to 2-1. It was the fifth goal of the season for McCarthy. Heikkila answered quickly from 25 yards out, giving her team a two-goal cushion.
McCarthy got another shot off with 1:46 left, but it was saved and the Sharks got their second conference win of the season and their fifth win in a row overall. The loss was the second straight for the Panthers.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Nova Southeastern Box Score
This was a tight game statistically, with each team taking 13 shots. NSU edged FIT in shots on goal, 6-5. Recuero made two of her three saves in the second half, with Robayna making two in each half. Florida Tech took six corners, while the Sharks took four.
Florida Tech returns home Saturday to take on conference foe Saint Leo, in a 7:00 p.m. match at Rick Stottler Field. It is the first home match for the women since September 15th, a 3-0 win over Palm Beach Atlantic. The Panthers are 3-0 on their home pitch.