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Preview: Florida Tech Clashes with Lenoir-Rhyne in Elite 8

Header pic: Florida Tech coach Ryan Moon – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics

The Florida Tech Panthers (10-3-8) upset the third-seeded West Florida Argonauts on Friday with a 3-1 win on penalty kicks. The host Argos and Panthers played to a 1-1 tie in regulation, but Florida Tech won their third straight NCAA Tournament match on penalty kicks. The victory means that the Panthers will move on to Sunday’s Elite 8 matchup against the seven-seed Lenoir-Rhyne Bears. The match will be played at the UWF Soccer Complex.

This is the second time in program history that the Panthers have been one of the final eight teams and they have done it with first-year coach Ryan Moon at the helm.

The Southeast Region champion Bears (12-5-4) won their game on Friday on penalty kicks as well, beating Flagler College 4-2 after a 1-1 score in regulation.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. They played to a scoreless tie in two overtimes back on September 10, when the Panthers were ranked fourth in the country and the Bears were 11th.

Bears goalie Grayson Cameron came up with nine saves in that game, while Panthers keeper Maria Sanchez Recuero needed just two saves to keep the Bears off the board. Florida Tech outshot L-R 15-13.

Cameron had 17 saves in the win over Flagler on Friday. She has started all but one of the games her team has played this season and has a record of 10-5-4 with nine shutouts and a goals-against-average of 0.61. She has made 93 saves, stopping 0.887 percent.

Leonie Proessl is the leading scorer this season for the Bears with 12 goals and an assist in 20 games. She scored the only regulation goal her team had in Friday’s win. Ria Acton played in 14 games for the Bears, putting up nine goals and six assists. Her last game came on October 30 against Wingate.

Evan O’Leary has eight goals in six assists in her 21 games this season. Kara Gavaghan and Scarlett Kelly each have four goals and two assists in 21 games.

As a team, Lenoir-Rhyne has scored 42 goals while allowing 15. That’s an average of two goals a game. They have given up 0.71 goals per game. They are averaging 18.3 shots per game while their opponent averages 12.7 a game.

Related: 2021 Tournament Bracket /// Printable Bracket

After her eight save performance on Friday against the Argonauts Sanchez Recuero now has 78 for the season, good for an 0.886 save percentage. The draw moved her overall record to 8-3-8. She has registered 10 shutouts.

Florida Tech’s scoring is led by Marem Ndiongue who scored the first goal against West Florida now has six on the season, matching her six assists in 21 games.

Mayara Queiroz Reis has six goals and four assists in 20 games, and Mariana Mazzocca has two goals and an assist. Kate Frazier earned her first assist of the season on Friday, getting the helper on Ndiongue’s goal. 

The Panthers have scored 21 goals while allowing 11 this season. That’s an average of one goal a game, while their goals-against average is 0.52. They are allowing 11.4 shots a game while taking 11.

Sunday’s match gets underway at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. in Pensacola. You can follow sports_lowdown on Twitter as always as we will be live-tweeting the game. You can also use the links below to follow all the action.

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