Header Photo: Mayara Queiroz Reis – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
The Florida Tech Panthers women’s soccer team achieved one of their biggest wins in program history on Tuesday, beating the second-ranked Columbus State Cougars 2-1 at Rick Stottler Field. The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the visitors, whose only prior blemish was a 1-1 tie with Catawba in September.
Mayara Queiroz Reis scored both goals for the Panthers on this day, getting one tally in the 10th minute and another 47 minutes later. Her second tally gave the home team a 2-0 lead but it ended up being the game-winner as Columbus State’s Lauren Barnes closed the gap just nine seconds later.
The Panthers (5-2-2) came into the match ranked 20th in the nation but less than an hour into the match the NCAA released the latest poll and Florida Tech dropped out of the top 25. This win ensures that they will return to the poll next week.
Columbus State (11-1-1) had not lost to the Panthers in three previous meetings. The teams met in 2008 with the Cougars winning 3-1. They hooked up again in 2009 with the Panthers getting a 1-1 tie, and the last meeting before Tuesday was a 4-0 home win for Columbus State on October 3, 2010.
Florida Tech goalie Maria Sanchez Recuero made five saves on six shots on goal. The Cougars took 10 shots. On the other side, Columbus State goalie Sara Halilhodzic saw six shots in the first half with three on goal. In the second half it was Lizzie Hedrick between the pipes for the Cougars. She allowed one goal and made two saves.
Queiroz Reis gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead off a throw in by Hanna Mansson, who found Queiroz Reis who dribbled around a defender and into the 18-yard box and unleashed a rocket that went well over Halilhodzics head and into the upper corner banging off the top of the net and in, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
The second goal followed a Sanchez Recuero save. The goal kick went down the field and off a Columbus State body and after the ball changed possession a couple times Queiroz Reis settled it down on a high hop and she took a shot from just outside the penalty arc that went off the inside of the post and in, giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
The Cougars answered just as play resumed as a touch pass found Barnes and she carried it forward before taking a shot that went into the net, nine seconds after the Panthers tally.
It was a defensive battle from there, as each team kept the other out of the net and the Panthers got their biggest win since an October 5, 2016 defeat of Grand Valley State, who was ranked number one then, as they are today.
For more info: #2 Columbus State @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers will return to Sunshine State Conference play on Saturday as they play host to Saint Leo in a 7:00 p.m. contest.