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Panthers Play to 1-1 Draw With No. 7 Tampa

Article Written by Jonathan Hower
Published: September 12, 2012

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Soccer) – Dating back to 2010, Florida Tech and Tampa had played in three consecutive overtime games. On Wednesday, the trend continued. The Panthers and the No. 7 Spartans each scored a goal in the opening 10 minutes, but neither team found the decisive goal over the next 100 minutes to end in a 1-1 draw through two overtimes at Rick Stottler Field.  

“It was definitely a hard fought game,” head coach Robin Chan said. “Both teams put a lot into the game. It was good to see where we stand against a team like Tampa. I am proud of the boys, they worked hard.”

FIT (3-0-1) scored in the fourth minute when Ricky Menendez fed a through-ball ahead to Drake Hillman. Hillman dribbled the ball to the box and ripped it past the Spartans’ goalkeeper to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, the Panther thought they found a second goal. Sophomore Antoine Aupiais shook the goal frame after drilling a shot off the post.

In the 10th minute, Tampa (3-0-1) found the equalizer. Reigning Sunshine State Conference Offensive Player of the Week presented by VALIC Tyler Blackwood tapped in a pass from Alex Knaggs to knot the game at 1-1. Another goal was not found before the final horn at the end of the second overtime rang.

The Spartans outshot the Panthers 20-13 in the match, but the FIT held a slight, 6-4, advantage in corner kicks.

Freshman Mitch Thorn made his first collegiate start filling in for Brentton Muhammad, who was called up for two FIFA World Cup qualifiers for his home country Antigua and Barbuda. Thorn recorded a season-high 10 saves in the match, including four saves in the second overtime.

FIT travels to Nova Southeastern on Saturday, Sept. 15 to open conference play. The Panthers and Sharks will kick off at 5 p.m.

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