By Official Florida FC
The sun has yet to set on Florida Tech’s run through the NCAA Division II tournament.
The Panthers women’s soccer team won its first South Region championship in 11 years with its win over West Florida on Friday evening. The match was tied 1-1 after 110 minutes and, for the third consecutive game, the Panthers were jubilant.
Florida Tech midfielder Marem Ndiongue scored the opener in the 29th minute. West Florida equalized six minutes later when Peyton Peffers scored her fourth goal of the season.
West Florida controlled possession and took more shots. But, the Argonauts couldn’t conjure the go-ahead goal.
The biggest reason was Florida Tech goalie Lola Sanchez. The second team All-South Region selection, has made 25 saves in three NCAA tournament games this fall. Friday, she made eight saves to help keep the visitors in the contest.
The Panthers have yet to win a match in 90 minutes during the NCAA Tournament. But, at this point of the season, results matter more than aesthetics. Sanchez made two saves in the penalty shootout and her teammates buried their chances to help the Panthers win their first regional title since 2010.
Ryan Moon, in his first full season as Florida Tech’s head coach, has set up the Panthers to be difficult to breach. Peffers’ goal was only the 11th Florida Tech has conceded this season.
Florida Tech (10-3-8) will play Lenoir-Rhyne on Sunday at 2 p.m. EST in Pensacola. Lenoir-Rhyne (12-5-4) beat Flagler College (17-2-2) in penalty kicks in the Southeast Region final. Sunday’s NCAA quarterfinal will be a rematch of a Sept. 11 scoreless draw.