The men’s soccer team is now 6-0 on the season and 2-0 against conference opponents.
Most recently, the Panthers took on defending NCAA Division II national champions, Barry University.
After taking a 1-0 lead, scored by Guillermo Segovia, Florida Tech struggled to further the lead and allowed Barry to tie up the game 1-1.
Senior midfielder Luca Campanini had a penalty kick opportunity to give the Panthers a one-goal advantage but it was blocked by Barry’s goalkeeper.
Campanini said after the game, “I need to make up for this and we need to win.”
With less than two minutes remaining in the match, Guillermo was fouled inside the box and was able to put his penalty kick in the back of the net.
“When the final whistle blew it was a sigh of relief,” Campanini said. “We should have really beat this team more easily than we did but they made it hard for us.”
This gave the Panthers their sixth win of the season, but along with their great success, there has also come heartbreak.
Graduate Student Solomon Wheatley was lost for the season as he suffered a torn ACL during their match against Limestone.
Wheatley had an assist on the game before the injury but he said he thinks he was getting tired because it was the last 10 minutes of the game.
“I tried to turn as players ran by me and my left foot was stuck in the grass as I turned,” Wheatley said. “I then heard a loud pop noise as if I had broken something and fell the floor.”
He said that normally when he gets injured he knows he can recover fast but this injury was different.
“I had to be carried off the field by my trainer so I knew it was more serious than other injuries but had no clue on what was to come.” Wheatley said if he’s being honest he’s in a difficult place right now.
“It’s been very hard for me to accept my injury and it’s going to get harder after I have my surgery,” he said. “I stayed back in the UK during last spring and trained myself to get in good shape for this fall, so for me to start off as well as I did, it’s been extremely upsetting.”
Senior midfielder Craig McCall said the loss of Wheatley has been massive and that the team was “gutted” when the news broke he’d be out for the season.
“The boys are going to have to fill a big void on and off the field with his absence, but we believe Sol will still have a big role in the team’s dynamic off the field with his character and leadership,” McCall said.
Graduate Student midfielder Morgan Gauthier said that the early season injuries have affected their play.
“It might be one reason why we are not playing our best football in the first few games as we aren’t able to rotate players as we would like to and get tired,” Gauthier said.
Regardless of maybe not playing to their full potential, the Panthers are undefeated and Wheatley said they show a lot of promise.
“My advice for the team is to just give everything into every opportunity whether that be in practice or games,” Wheatley said. “If we work harder than all of the teams there’s no doubt the soccer will take care of the rest. We have a lot of talent in our squad we just need to believe it.”
The Panthers next head on the road on Saturday, Oct. 5 to take on Nova Southeastern and try to remain undefeated.