The Florida Tech Panthers opened their season with an 18-6 loss against Division I Mercer on Saturday in Macon, GA.
Reid Chaconas scored twice for the Panthers, while Luke Palmisano had a goal and an assist. Justin Williams, Matt Guttmann, and Matt LeCompte had single tallies. Sean Goldsmith tied a Mercer program record with six goals to lead the Bears.
Chaconas scored 31 seconds into the game to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Goldsmith started a four-goal run against Panthers freshman goalie Vincent Palermo before Palmisano scored with 1:51 to go in the opening quarter. It was 4-2 Mercer after 15 minutes.
Palermo gave up 15 goals in his debut, allowing 16 goals. Mercer took 68 shots overall, 38 of those were on goal. Mercer goalie Colin Kelly made seven saves, as the Panthers had 13 shots on goal.
A penalty against the Panthers put Mercer on the man-up, and Goldsmith added another to make it 5-2. The Bears rattled off three more to go up 8-2 before LeCompte, a junior midfielder, scored his first goal as a Panther to make it 8-3 with 11:28 to go in the half.
That only stemmed the tide briefly, as Mercer reeled off another four in a row, making it a 12-3 game. Chaconas tallied his second of the day with 47 seconds left in the third, cutting the Mercer lead to eight.
The Bears (1-0) scored the first five goals of the fourth quarter, with three of those coming from Goldsmith, who scored twice in a 42-second span. When all was said and done, Mercer led 17-4 with 6:26 to go.
Guttmann and Williams scored back-to-back goals late in the fourth quarter, accounting for the Panthers’ last two tallies. Raymond Francois played the final 9:10 in net for the Panthers, giving up three goals and making four saves.
Mercer won 20-of-26 faceoffs while winning the ground ball battle 45-23. Florida Tech turned the ball over 26 times to the Bears 16.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Mercer Box Score
Florida Tech will travel to Saint Charles, MO on Saturday to take on Lindenwood in a 2:00 p.m. contest.