SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo lacrosse team, led by six first quarter goals, topped the Pfeiffer University Falcons 12-7, Sunday afternoon from University Field.

The non-conference contest saw the Lions grab an early 4-0 lead, which they pushed to 6-1 before the end of the period. The Falcons cut into the five goal advantage before the break, outscoring the Lions 2-1 in the second period. Still, the Lions made the 7-3 halftime lead standup as they outscored Pfeiffer 5-4, in the second half.

Luke Baruch and Kyle Marceau had four points apiece, as each tallied three goals and one assist. Jake McGuinness added two goals, while four different Lions also found the back of the net. Mike Del Buono was top-notch in the face-off circle, claiming 17-of-20 challenges. And as a team, the Lions outshot the Falcons 46-to-27 and totaled 22 more ground balls.

The first quarter was dominated by a pressing Lions’ offense in which Baruch netted the three of the first four goals scored to claim the hat trick.  Baruch used a physical inside attack and exploited the Pfeiffer crease on multiple occasions. He first dented the net just 1:33 into the game. He answered his own opening goal with a second just moments later, before the lead ballooned to 3-0 behind Joe Guerin’s first tally.

The Lions fourth goal was a George Proechel-Baruch connection in which Proechel fed a pass over the top of the Falcon’s defense to Baruch who slotted it past the cage minder. Marceau then scored the Lions fifth goal on an assist from Cole Sieja and McGuinness put the finishing touches on a fantastic first quarter by blasting a shot into the upper part of the cage to make the score 6-1.  

Pfeiffer put the pressure on Saint Leo in second quarter, outscoring them 2-to-1, and shrinking the Lions lead to 7-3 heading into the halftime break.

The Lions shook off thethird quarter lapse, however, as Cole Sieja blasted a shot past Matt McShea just 48 second into the half to get the Lions back on track. The Lions and Falcons spent the remainder of the half trading the next two goals.

The Lions entered the final quarter of action with a 9-4 lead and never looked back. The squad took to the net again tallying the first three goals of the period as the trio of Marceau, McGuinness, and Frank Keel pumped in the Lions’ final tallies.

David Erdman (5-1) was stellar in net, making 11 saves in 18 chances in 60 minutes of action.

The Lions return to University Field on Tuesday, March 9 for a non-conference battle with Notre Dame de Namur. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m.