Spartans Stifle Knights to Finish Undefeated in Conference PlayApril 12, 2014
Tampa Wins First SSC Men's Lacrosse Title
BOCA RATON, Fla. –No. 6 University of Tampa men’s lacrosse team defeated Lynn 19-5 Saturday night at BCA/Malfitano Field to finished a perfect 5-0 in the Sunshine State Conference play and clinch the first ever SSC title. With the win the Spartans finish their regular season with a 12-2 record, while the Fighting Knights fall to 1-10 overall and 0-5 in conference play.
Lynn struck first as Brian Keil netted an unassisted goal two minutes in to the opening period. Tampa responded less than a minute later as Kyle Hemrick’s shot connected with the back of the cage. Conor Whipple scored back-to-back goals to give the Spartans a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.
Trevor Calleja won the opening faceoff of the second quarter and on the ensuing Spartans possession Justin Fitzpatrick scored an unassisted goal. After a Lynn goal, Whipple and Jake Rooney scored back-to-back goals to extend Tampa’s lead to 6-2 with 6:27 left in the first half. Matt Bilak scored twice, before Michael Asher found Rooney in front of the cage for a goal to give the Spartans a 9-2 lead at the half.
The two teams traded goals to start the second half before Calleja found Whipple for a goal to extend the Spartans lead to 11-3. A minute later Whipple found Rooney in front of the cage for goal. Hemrick scored for out of Tampa’s next five goals to give Tampa a 17-3 lead with 12:04 left in the second half. The two teams traded goals before Simon Ruppert connected with Conor Smith for a goal. Dante Egan shot got past the goalie in the final seconds for the 19-5 final.
Hemrick led the Spartans with five goals, while Whipple netted four goals and dished out two assists. Rooney tallied four goals and an assist, while Bilak netted a pair of goals. Calleja went 16-21 on faceoffs and picked up a team high 12 ground balls.
The Spartans are the No. 1 seed heading into the SSC tournament and will host one of the semi-finals games on Saturday, April 19 at 1 p.m. Tampa will face the loser of the Rollins-Saint Leo game on April 15. Live stats and a video webcast will be available through TampaSpartans.tv.
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