Sailfish Hold On for Key Road Region Victory at FIT

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

PBA Defenders (L-R) Juan Villagrana, Jerris Gay, and Andrew Kanarr Were a Few Standouts That Limited FIT to Just One Shot in the Second-Half on Saturday. Photo Courtesy of: Kyle Bloemers.PBA Defenders (L-R) Juan Villagrana, Jerris Gay, and Andrew Kanarr Were a Few Standouts That Limited FIT to Just One Shot in the Second-Half on Saturday. Photo Courtesy of: Kyle Bloemers.

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MELBOURNE, Fla.- In an aggressive and physical game, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s soccer team got all the offense they needed in the first-half as they came away with a close 3-2 victory against Florida Tech on Saturday afternoon as the Sailfish improved to 3-1 on the season.

In the tough play of the South Region, a road victory can be especially important. PBA head coach Jose Gomez seemed very pleased with his team’s result.

“I thought our guys had much better intensity than in our last game, they showed real heart and faced some challenges and we responded to some tough goals and tough tackles,” said Gomez.

“Our response to the adversity was what I was most proud of and obviously getting a victory today was a cherry on top,” continued Gomez who has guided the Fish to victories over FIT in back-to-back seasons. 

PBA jumped ahead of the home-standing Panthers early on and grabbed a lead they would never relinquish when senior Dan Dodge came away with a breakaway goal just under seven minutes into the contest.

Dodge would help extend the Sailfish lead at the 25 minute mark when he found a streaking Josh Sharpe to give Blue and White a more comfortable 2-0 advantage as Sharpe’s kick took an unusual hop past FIT goalkeeper Cory Collins.

That lead would be put in question just over six minutes later as FIT scored their first goal of the afternoon on a strange course of plays. With the Panthers threatening near the goal, an attempted shot came into the hands of PBA goalkeeper Joe Yurchak only to be forced out by an apparent collision with an oncoming FIT striker.

Apparently with the contact unseen by the official, FIT quickly took advantage as David Tufft booted the ball into the back of the net on the close rebound shot.

After facing some adversity, the Sailfish continued to respond as senior Daniel Abrahamsohn came through with a header after junior Cheyne Roberts indirect kick made its way near the far post.

Just five minutes later in the 39th minute, FIT mid-fielder Miguel Martes collected his first goal of the season creating a 3-2 lead for PBA into halftime.

While the play of both teams appeared even more physical in the second-half, neither team could come away with a goal.

The Panthers were issued seven yellow cards in the contest with five coming in the second half including a second caution for sophomore Ryan Moon resulting in his ejection and the opportunity for the Fish to play the final 33 minutes with a one man advantage.

Much credit should go to the Panthers defense as they held the Sailfish off the scoreboard during the second-half despite PBA dominating from a possession standpoint and holding the extra man advantage. The Fish tallied 11 shots to the Panthers seven including limiting FIT to only one shot in the second-half.

PBA returns to the pitch next weekend as they will travel to a pair of new opponents in Delta State University on Thursday, September 18th and a Saturday, September 20th showdown with Christian Brothers University. Check out PBASailfish.com for full recaps and statistics from both of these contests.

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