Nov. 12, 2010

Courtesy of Florida Tech Athletics

Florida Tech will live to play another day after defeating No. 25 Florida Southern 4-3 in penalty kicks Friday evening at Barker Family Stadium at Cahall-Sandspur Field. The Panthers will now prepare for their second match of the NCAA South Regional, scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m. against the regions top seed, Rollins.

Tech (9-6-3) and Florida Southern (10-5-4) were knotted at one following regulation and two 10-minute sudden-death overtime periods. As both teams prepared for penalty kicks, the two Sunshine State Conference schools were reminded of the importance of the match. A win would allow the victor to continue its season, while a loss would halt one teams play until 2011.

The Moccasins had the first opportunity in the shootout. With assistance from the right post, Kara Moore struck first and then Chelsea Pushman evened-up the score at one. After Hanna Jansson shot the rock over the goal, Christina Edwards snuck the ball into the right-hand corner, giving Tech a 2-1 lead. Both teams exchanged free kick conversions until Panther goalkeeper Mist Eliasdottir turned away the Mocs fifth shot, taken by Princess Haley, to propel her squad to a shootout win.

The girls gave an incredible effort after going down a goal in the second half against a very strong team,” Tech head coach Fidgi Haig said. Florida Southern came after us today and the girls showed a lot of character and resilience. Our subs that came into the game, like Chelsea Belfer and Mallory Bond, added a lot of fire up front. At the end, it was pure resilience and us not wanting to lose the game.

Its very difficult to beat a very good team three times in a row, especially under the conditions for which we were faced. We capitalized on the one chance we had in the second half. After that, the momentum changed and the girls showed a lot of life. Im very proud of them. This season, weve faced numerous injuries and tough losses. At the time, it was difficult to think that we could make it to the stage that weve reached. The girls are very excited and are looking forward to Sundays match.”

Following a scoreless first half, Morgan Sammons put the Moccasins on the scoreboard in the 51st minute. Alex Hoover found a streaking Sammons, who lofted the ball into the right-corner of the goal, for her first score of the season. Just as the pressure began to mount on the Panthers as each minute ticked by, Pushman threaded the ball to Casey Lademann on a set piece. The junior forward slowed down her run and chipped the ball over Martina Tangen Billing for the equalizer.

Tech and Florida Southern finished the contest at 10 shots apiece. The Moccasins, however, had a clear 11-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Lademanns game-tying score gives her 14 goals on the season. She is now tied for the programs single-season goals record with Teresa Brantley and Kelli Huarte.