Melbourne, Fla. – A physical and muddy battle between the top-two teams in the Sunshine State Conference was settled by a tap-in goal from Oliver Powers in the 73rd minute to give Lynn University's sixth-ranked men's soccer team a 2-1 victory over Florida Tech on Wednesday night. Chris Hellmann added to his nation-leading goal total with his 16th score in helping the Fighting Knights improve to 10-1-1 overall and 5-0-1 in league play.
Playing on a wet and sloppy pitch in a hostile environment, the Blue & White appeared rattled despite holding a 1-0 lead into the second half. Lynn had an even more difficult time in the match following a Panthers goal in the 57th minute as the fans rallied behind the home team.
The near capacity crowd was silenced, though, in the 73rd minute. The Fighting Knights' Hellmann sent in a low cross from the left side but the Florida Tech defense had difficulty collecting and clearing. In the meantime, Powers ran through traffic uncontested and toed-in his shot past keeper Mitch Thorn for his first career goal.
Florida Tech (7-4-1, 4-2-0 SSC) came out aggressive and showed no fear against the nationally-ranked Blue & White squad. A couple of quick shots on frame appeared to startle Lynn but the team was able to regroup and go on the offensive. In the 15th minute of play Nicolas Mortensen juked by his defender on the wet turf and slipped a ball towards the top of the box to Hellmann. The Cologne, Germany, native took a touch to his right and flawlessly buried his attempt past keeper Mitch Thorn to put Lynn ahead 1-0.
The Fighting Knights would hold on to their lead into the second half but FIT came out looking to score and was able to even the match in the 57th minute when Adin Kavara one-timed a pass from across the box.
Lynn held a slight 15-14 advantage in shots and was even 6-6 in corner kicks with Florida Tech. Lucas Fancello turned away one of the three shots on frame by the Panthers while his counterpart, Thorn, stopped four of six shots on target.
The Fighting Knights return to the friendly confines of Bobby Campbell Stadium on Saturday, October 18, at 7 p.m. when they host Palm Beach Atlantic. Fans can watch the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com and receive in-game updates by following @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.