MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Soccer) – Florida Tech’s three seniors played in front the Panther faithful for the last time on Wednesday, and came out on top with a 2-0 victory over Nova Southeastern on Senior Day. Redshirt senior Gary Ogilvie scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 50th minute.
“It was an important day for the seniors,” head coach Robin Chan said. “Anytime it becomes your last chance to play at home it is always an emotional day. I am sure they reflected a lot leading up to today. They all did well on the field, and it will be a good memory for them. It is always good to leave with the right result.”
Sophomore Drake Hillman was taken down inside the box in the 50th minute to give Florida Tech (9-3-3) a penalty kick attempt. The game was scoreless going into the kick.
Ogilvie, for the second time this season, stepped up to the penalty mark for a chance at a go-ahead goal. The redshirt senior scored a game-winning penalty kick goal against Embry-Riddle in the 88th minute on Sept. 8 at Rick Stottler Field. The ball was placed in front of the same goal his previous winner was scored.
The whistle blew and Ogilvie struck it past the Nova Southeastern (6-8-1) keeper to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
In the 72nd minute, Hillman extended the Panthers’ lead to 2-0. Sophomore TJ Peplinski fed the ball to the left side, finding freshman Connor Fleming. Fleming centered the ball into the box to find Hillman sprinting with a defender. Hillman deflected the ball into the left side of the goal for his team-leading 15th point of the season.
Hillman and Ogilvie now have six goals each on the season. Fleming and Peplinski picked up their first assists of the season.
Redshirt senior Brentton Muhammad (6-2-2) only needed to make two saves to earn his four shutout of the season—12th of his career.
Also, playing in his final game at Rick Stottler Field was redshirt senior Robbie Russell. Russell made the crowd gasp twice in the match with his patented long throw-ins deep in the offensive zone. The throw-ins, finding Panther players, were headed just wide.
The Panthers matched their win total from a season ago with nine, and one regular season game to play. They also improved to 6-0-1 in non-conference games this season.
The group of three seniors has put Florida Tech back in the national spotlight as the Panthers have catapulted into the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national rankings each of the last four season. Their most memorable win took place at Rick Stottler Field just over a year ago, when they knocked off No. 1 Rollins by a score of 2-1. They have also clinched FIT a spot in the conference tournament for a fourth-straight season.
The Panthers will hit the road for their final regular season game on Saturday, Oct. 27. They will face Lynn at Florida Atlantic University at 3:30 p.m.