MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Saint Leo University men’s soccer team missed a golden opportunity to gain three valuable conference points as they let a 2-1 lead evaporate in the final seven minutes of their Sunshine State Conference contest with Florida Tech. The Lions surrendered three goals in under four minutes time as they fell to the Panthers 4-2 at Rick Stottler Field on Saturday afternoon.
The heartbreaking loss drops SLU to 4-3-1 overall and 1-1 in conference while Florida Tech, struggling early in 2008 without a slew of experienced starters, improves to 4-5 overall, 1-1 in the SSC.
An extremely confident Lions team that dominated the pace of play and the scoreboard for nearly the entire second half, saw the wheels come off when FIT was awarded a penalty kick after one of their forwards was taken down inside the box.
After the Panthers converted the penalty kick and tied the match, the Lions could not refocus to try and break the tie, instead their defense became very porous and, in the blink of an eye, the score was 4-2 and the Panther fans were going wild.
The loss overshadows a tremendous effort by Saint Leo senior forward Eusebio Montoya who was responsible for both Lion goals. The most outstanding was his second as the small framed Montoya out jumped everyone in the box to head a corner kick into the back of the goal.
It does not get any easier for the Lions as they face SSC foe Eckerd College on Wednesday evening. The Lions and Tritons will square off at University Field with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.