MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Soccer) – Florida Tech men’s soccer head coach Robin Chan announced the Panthers’ 2015 schedule on Friday. The Crimson and Gray are slotted to compete in 15 contests this season, including six at FIT’s Rick Stottler Field.
The Panthers are coming off their most wins in a single season since 1997. Chan, the 2014 Sunshine State Conference Co-Coach of the Year, guided the Panthers to an overall record of 11-5-2. FIT went 6-2 in the SSC and advanced to the league’s championship game for the first time since the 2010 season.
Prior to the beginning of the 2015 season, the Panthers will warm up with three preseason games, against Warner University on Aug. 15, Jacksonville University on Aug. 22 and Clayton State on Aug. 29. FIT plays all three preseason contests on the road.
“The preseason games typically give our boys the opportunity to unleash some of their energy on somebody else”, said Chan. “Everybody will have the chance to play in the games, which will assist with getting our guys into a good frame of mind and get good rhythm heading into the season. They are tough contests that will help prepare us for the regional and conference opponents we face this season.”
The Panthers will officially open the 2015 season on Sept. 4 in Jackson, Tennessee against the Bulldogs of Union University. FIT will then cross state lines to Clinton, Mississippi to take on Mississippi College on Sunday, Sept. 6. On Sept. 16, the Panthers travel north on I-95 for a contest against a traditionally strong Flagler College squad.
The following Saturday, Aug. 19, is FIT’s SSC season opener versus Eckerd College, a team the Panthers defeated three times during the 2014 season.
The team’s home opener is not until Sept. 23 against the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s preseason No. 13 Saint Leo, the team that FIT defeated in the SSC semifinals 2-1 in overtime. Ten days after facing the Lions, the Panthers host the defending national champions, and NSCAA preseason No. 1, Lynn University Fighting Knights on Oct. 3.
The team plays three consecutive road contests in seven days, starting with Embry-Riddle on Oct. 7 in Daytona Beach, Fla. On Oct. 10, the Panthers take on the Tampa Spartans in a non-conference, neutral site game in Orlando, Fla., at a location to be determined, before heading to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a match against Nova Southeastern on Oct. 14.
FIT closes out the season with three of the final four games at home. Florida Southern and Eckerd College come to Melbourne for consecutive home games on Oct. 17 and Oct. 21. The Panthers’ final road game of the regular season is Oct. 24 versus the University of Tampa.
Florida Tech’s Senior Day is Oct. 28, the Panthers’ final contest of the regular season against Barry.
The 2015 SSC Tournament will be hosted by the team with the best record in the conference at the end of the regular season, with the quarterfinals occurring on Nov. 4 and the semifinals and finals set for Nov. 7-9.
The NCAA Tournament is set to begin on Nov. 13-15 with the regional championship and end with Final Four weekend Dec. 5-7.
“It’s an exciting season for us to look forward to,” Chan added. “We have a lot of returners from last season. A lot of guys coming back that have a bad taste in their mouth. We felt like we had the tools to be able to do some damage last postseason and we want to make sure that motivation continues into this year. Based on what I’ve been hearing from the guys this offseason, everyone is ready to go.”
Florida Tech’s full 2015 schedule can be found on the team’s page at FloridaTechSports.com/msoccer.