Header photo: Guillermo Segovia Marcos – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
The Florida Tech Panthers got a big win in their opening game of the 2021 season as they took down the Wingate Bulldogs 2-1 in overtime on Thursday night.
Senior forward Fabio Amaral scored on a rebound, getting the ball by Bulldogs goalie Jamie Boegel just 1:28 into overtime and giving the Panthers a win over the sixth-ranked team in the country.
The Panthers (1-0) came into the season ranked fourth in the Sunshine State Conference preseason coaches poll. They went down early in this one, as Wingate got a goal 9:08 into the match. Fabio Rodrigues controlled a pass to the middle from Niclas Wittur and Rodrigues got it by Florida Tech senior goalie Nick Brady, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
Wingate’s Devin Scully would pick up a yellow card moments later but Thibault Chretien kicked the ball into the wall and the Bulldogs held onto their lead. Brady would come up big in the 28th minute when he made a save on a point blank shot by Soren Nygaard. The follow-up shot sailed high.
Just over eight minutes later the Panthers were awarded a penalty kick. Senior Guillermo Segovia Marcos wasted no time as he whistled a low shot past a diving Boegel, tying the game 1-1.
This game went to the half tied and the Bulldogs got the first good chance of the second half but Brady was up to the task, making a diving save in the 54th minute. Less than three minutes later, Scully who got a yellow earlier was given a red card and was done for the night.
The Bulldogs (0-1) hung in there down a man, but Panthers freshman Juan Masqueda gave them a scare with 60:29 elapsed as he let a shot go toward an open net. A Wingate defender came across the goal mouth and kicked the ball away, preserving the tie.
Things got chippy in the final 10 minutes of regulation with Panthers senior midfielder Julien Remiti and Masqueda both picking up yellow cards less than two minutes apart. Florida Tech coach Robin Chan subbed both guys out quickly to keep them from picking up a second card.
The officiating was rough on both sides with fouls being called on Florida Tech early and Wingate had them pile up in the second half. The Bulldogs ended up with 18 fouls to Florida Tech’s nine. It was opening night for the officials too.
As overtime commenced the Panthers took possession and went on a run. The original header was saved by Boegel, but the rebound landed at the feet of Amaral, who booted it into the net, giving the Panthers the victory.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Wingate Box Score
Florida Tech held a 15-11 advantage in shots with seven on goal. Brady made seven saves, keeping his team in it all night long. Florida Tech also held a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.
The Panthers North Carolina tour wraps up Saturday with a 7:00 p.m. match against Lenoir Rhyne.