MIAMI SHORES – Florida Southern and Barry may not have scored many goals coming into their match, but you’d never know that from the line score they put up Tuesday night. Seven different players found the back of the net, five others had at least one assist and the teams combined for 37 shots in a 4-3 victory by the Buccaneers.
Both teams had scored just 10 goals prior to Tuesday, but both teams ended up with a season-high and could have easily scored more. There was no shortage of opportunities, and down by a goal in the closing minutes, the Moccasins almost turned one of them into one more goal that would have forced overtime, or at the very least, another goal at the end of regulation. Carlos Rodriguez, Luke Jenner and Patrick Abrahamsson all picked up goals for the Mocs, Adam Hansjons had two assists, and Jovaughn Howard, Thomas Blumenthal and Ricky Marton all had one assist.
Florida Southern (2-10-1, 1-5 Sunshine State Conference) opened the scoring three minutes into the game when Howard and Hansjons put together two passes coming out of the right corner for Rodriguez, who blasted a shot from 18 yards off a Barry defender. The deflected shot ended up in the far side of the net for a Moccasin goal, the third of the season for Rodriguez.
Barry (4-8-1, 1-5-1) came back with four shots in quick succession, but Brent Theriault saved two of them, including one by Patrick Drmola at close range in the sixth minute. Kendall Sealy then skimmed one off the top of the cross bar following a corner kick in the seventh minute.
In the 11th minute it was Florida Southern’s turn again to apply pressure with a corner kick giving the Mocs two good shots from inside the box. The first came from Jenner, with Barry goalkeeper Fred Perez getting a hand on it and the ball hitting the crossbar. Hansjons came in for a follow-up header but put the shot wide.
The Buccaneers got on the board in the 20th minute when Drmola found Sealy running down the right flank with a long cross-field pass that led him into the box 1-on-1 with Theriault. Sealy’s shot was true for the game-tying goal.
Theriault kept it a 1-1 game in the 25th minute when he stopped a shot by Drmola, who had worked his way to the six-yard box near the right post, but he wasn’t able to stop one in the 29th minute when a dazzling display of ball work by Drmola allowed Sealy to break free of the Florida Southern defense in the back third. He didn’t keep the ball, however, playing it forward for Kris Wilkinson, who took it into the box for the shot and the goal.
Barry took that 2-1 lead into halftime and added to it in the 57th minute with another break-away goal. This one was scored by Joong Kim after taking a cross-field pass from Sealy, a scoring play strikingly similar to the first goal Barry scored.
The Moccasins answered Barry’s 3-goal run in the 63rd minute after Blumenthal intercepted a pass in the back third and got the ball back to Hansjons in the middle of the field. Hansjons wasted no time in finding Jenner on the left side of the box for an open shot that pulled the Mocs within 3-2.
In the 78th minute, Barry scored yet another break-away goal, this one coming at the end of a run by Connor Randel. Wilkinson fed him with a thru ball right down the middle, allowing Randel to sprint uncontested for 40 yards before he slotted a shot past Theriault for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Back came Florida Southern again with Ashley Holmes hitting the post with a free kick in the 83rd minute, and Jenner hitting the rebound shot right at Perez. Holmes then pulled another shot wide by inches after a beautiful ball played by Marton. In the 84th minute though, Marton was not only able to keep the ball in play near the right sideline, he sent it long into the box where Abrahamsson lofted a header over Perez that dropped in under the crossbar. That made the score 4-3 and gave the Mocs new life.
Pushing nearly everyone forward in the closing minutes, the Mocs had three golden opportunities to tie the game, but each time came up just short. Abrahamsson had a header off a free kick saved by Perez and another shot blocked, and Holmes put a header just high with 1:30 to play. Barry was then able to maintain possession for all but the last 20 seconds to secure the win.
While Florida Southern had seven players in the point column, Barry had five, including Sealy, who had one goal and two assists, Wilkinson, who had one goal and one assist, and Drmola, who assisted two of the Buccaneers’ four goals.
Theriault made six saves for Florida Southern while facing 17 shots, and Perez made five for Barry while facing 20.
Florida Southern will be back at Barnett Field for its final home match of the season on Saturday night against Tampa. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.