SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University lacrosse team (5-1, 2-0 DCS) secured the programs first-ever victory over the Catawba College Indians (1-4), 12-8 in a hard-fought Deep South Conference game Thursday night from University Field.

After Catawba scored the initial goal of the game, Saint Leo responded by scoring six of the next seven goals, four of which were by Lions’ Attacker Ryan Pomponio, en route to the win. Mike Del Buono also had a tremendous night for the Green and Gold winning 12 of 17 face-offs, while the Lions as a team secured 19 more ground balls than the Indians (52-to-33). Ben Brigham culminated the night with two goals and three assists while Luke Baruch made his presence known by planting two tallies into the cage.

The Lions had a quick wake-up call against the very tough Catawba bunch as they found themselves down 1-0 just four minutes into the game. Still, the Lions maintained their composure and struck right back after the face-off as Ryu Arakawa put the equalizer into the back net just seconds later.

Pomponio gave the Lions a 2-1 lead with his first goal of the night at the 7:32 mark, but the Indians answered with a goal just a minute later to knot the game at 2-2. From that point on, the majority of the offense belonged to SLU as they rattled off four unanswered goals, as they shut out the Indians 3-0 in the second quarter. All of the Lions goals in the second quarter came in the first three minutes, as the defenses began to take charge. However, the Lions still went into half time with a 6-2 lead.

Once again, a quick goal by the Indians only seemed to light a fire under the Lions goal scorers, as Pomponio lead a group of five different Lions to five unanswered goals to make the score 11-3 with just under 13 minutes left to play.

The Indians did not quit though as they slowly cut the Lions large fourth quarter lead from eight to five with 1:40 left to go in the game. However, it was all for not as the SLU defense bent but did not break, locking up the four goal conference win. The Lions are now 1-3 lifetime against the Indians.

The Lions now have to turn their attention to non-conference opponent Franklin Pierce University on Sunday, March 15. Face-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm on the campus of Saint Leo University.