Sometimes the most memorable moments aren't associated with a single game, or even a single play in a game, but the entire atmosphere surrounding those things. The game is still a big part of it, but there's a lot more to the moment than what happens on the field. That was the case with No. 2 on our countdown, which occurred on September 15, 2006. It was a night that saw the Moccasins defeat Tampa 2-1, while celebrating the 50-year anniversary of men's soccer at Florida Southern College.
The event had been in the works for some time, and too many were involved to list all of them here, but the Friday night game brought together what would have to be the largest single gathering of soccer alums at Barnett Field since soccer became an intercollegiate sport in 1957. Men were there representing every era in the program's history, along with all three of their living coaches up to that point: Sam Snow (1981-92), Kris Pahl (1993-04), and Hugh Seyfarth (hired in 2005). The only other head coach in the program's first 50 years was Jim Bush (1957-80), who had passed away in 2000.
The game itself matched Florida Southern against what many would refer to as its arch-nemesis. Tampa had been a national power for more than 25 years, but with the energy present at Barnett Field that night, the Spartans would have their hands full. It was the Sunshine State Conference opener, and the Spartans came into the game with a 4-2 record, while the Mocs were 1-3-1, having already played two nationally ranked opponents in the previous two weeks. With a vocal group of alumni cheering them on, the Mocs struck first in the 20th minute when Ola Sandquist dropped a ball back off the left end line for Patrik Dandanell, who blasted a shot into the net for his first goal of the season. Tampa came back in the 33rd minute, however, tying the score to send the game to halftime knotted 1-1.
Early in the second half, in the 53rd minute, Dandanell and Sandquist connected again for the Moccasins, this time with Sandquist on the finishing end. His diving header in the middle of the penalty box put Florida Southern up 2-1, and that score held up the rest of the night. The final score could have been worse, but Tampa's freshman goalkeeper, Ryan Thompson, a future 2-time All-American, had a tremendous second half with six saves. Nearly all of them were difficult plays too, with the Mocs out-shooting the Spartans 11-7 over the final 45 minutes. Matt Ward had two saves for the Moccasins, but did not have to make any in the second half behind a back line of Simon Eriksson, Emil Kumlin, Kevin Olmstead, and Travis Hobgood.
Together, that group of Moccasins helped give Florida Southern its first on-field victory over Tampa at home since 1977 (a 1978 game was awarded to the Mocs by forfeit). It was cause for celebration, not only for the 2006 Moccasins, but the large group of former players who were on-hand to support them.
As part of the festivities that night, a golden anniversary team was also named, highlighting the greatest players to wear a Moccasin uniform and graduate from Florida Southern College in the first 50 years. The No. 2 moment on this countdown remembering Barnett Field gives us a chance to also remember these players once again.
FLORIDA SOUTHERN MEN'S SOCCER GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY TEAM (SELECTED IN 2006)
Simo Arajarvi, Midfielder (1996-97)
Brian Bain, Goalkeeper (1966-69)
Ahmad Belfon, Defender (1996-99)
Don Brady, Goalkeeper (1977-79)
Frank Bresk, Forward (1990-93)
Tim Cooper, Defender/Forward (1994-97)
Bill Currie, Goalkeeper (1959-61)
Jim Dawsey, Forward (1966-69)
Cliff Dixon, Goalkeeper (1995-97)
Nathan Garcia, Midfielder (1995-98)
Alan Grossman, Forward (1971-74)
John Hayes, Goalkeeper (1961-62, 64-65)
Bruce Manuel, Defender (1997-99)
John Mines, Midfielder (1981-84)
Sean Murphy, Midfielder (1979-82)
Mike Nance, Forward (1999-01)
Pete Schiebel, Forward (2000-03)
Barrett Schiwitz, Defender (1987-90)
#20 on the Countdown: October 24, 1958
#19 on the Countdown: September 16, 1999
#18 on the Countdown: September 25, 1980
#17 on the Countdown: October 26, 2013
#16 on the Countdown: September 25, 1978
#15 on the Countdown: October 22, 1988
#14 on the Countdown: September 14, 2003
#13 on the Countdown: November 2, 1963
#12 on the Countdown: September 30, 2009
#11 on the Countdown: September 18, 1973