Andrew Failla made 10 saves in the win.
Andrew Failla made 10 saves in the win.

Strong Second Half Lifts Spartans Past Mocs

Box Score

Tampa, Fla - The No. 6 ranked men’s lacrosse team outscored Florida Southern 7-1 in the second half en route to a 12-6 victory Saturday night at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex. With the win the Spartans improves to 7-0 overall and 1-0 in the Sunshine State Conference, while the Moccasins falls to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Florida Southern struck first as Grant VanOverbeke found Shane Tompkins for a goal to give the Moccasins a 1-0 lead.  Tampa won the ensuing faceoff and Nick Ferreiro drove the field and put a shot past the goalie to even the score at 1-1.  Minutes later, Conor Whipple found Mike Morris in front of the cage for a goal to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead.  On the Spartans next possession, Jon McGowan found Whipple for a goal to give Tampa a 3-1 advantage with 8:13 left in the opening period.  The Moccasins scored back-to-back goals to even the score after the first quarter.

Just over a minute into the second quarter Matt Boutin found Kevin Naslonski for a goal to give Florida Southern a 4-3 lead.  The score remained until the 3:04 mark when Jake Rooney curled around the cage and scored the equalizer.  Minutes later Whipple connected with Rooney for his second goal of the game to give the Spartans a 5-4 lead. Florida Southern scored one more time before the half to tie the game 5-5 at the break.

Tampa took advantage of a Florida Southern penalty as Whipple connected with Mike Morris for a man-up goal four minutes into the third quarter.  Less than a minute later Ferreiro found Kyle Hemrick for a goal to extend Tampa’s lead to 7-5.  After a Morris goal, McGowan connected with Whipple again to give Tampa a 9-5 lead after three periods.  The Spartans defense held Florida Southern to four shots and forced five turnovers in the quarter.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter Ferreiro found Matt Bilak cutting towards the cage and tip it past the goalie to extend the lead to 10-5.  Florida Southern responded as Dane Sorensen picked up the ground ball off a Naslonski shot and netted a goal with 7:37 remaining.  Chance Smith and McGowan each netted a goal in the final two minutes for the 12-6 final.

Whipple lead the Spartans with two goals and four assists in the game, while Morris netted a hat trick. Ferreiro picked up a team-high six ground balls and tallied three points. 

Andrew Failla made 10 saves in the win and improves to 7-0 in the cage for the Spartans. This was his fourth double-digit save game of the season.  Marty Heyn tallied three caused turnovers and one ground ball, while Larry Gress and Nate Tembi combined for three ground balls. 

The Spartans will return to action next Wednesday, March 19, when they travel to Melbourne to take on Florida Tech in a SSC match-up.  Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  Live stats and a video webcast will be available through TampaSpartans.tv.

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