SAINT LEO, Fla. – A late flurry of action in the fourth quarter helped secure the Saint Leo men's lacrosse team's fourth straight victory as they defeated Mount Olive College 11-6 on Friday afternoon at University Turf Stadium. The win advances the Lions' record to 4-2, while the Trojans drop to a mark of 2-3 on the season.
Led by sophomore Chris Caiazza with a hat trick, the Lions saw scoring efforts from 10 different players. George Proechel and Robert Hutchinson matched Caiazza in points with three, notching two goals and an assist apiece on the evening. Ryan Burke tallied two assists, while Matt Obermeyer, Dylan Yonts, Tom Horn and Dan Staker scored one goal apiece. Kevin Hutchinson and Chad Marino completed the scoring efforts on the day with an assist each.
In cage, freshman Dave Moore had another solid outing, making 11 saves while seeing 31 shots and 17 shots on frame. In goal for Mount Olive, Rocky Bowman earned 10 saves, seeing a total of 37 shots and 21 shots on target from the Lions
The Trojans were led by Daniel Shields, who notched three points on the night with a goal and two assists.
After a slow start for both teams, the Lions found themselves in a 1-0 deficit after Shields snuck a shot past Moore for the first goal of the game with 9:27 on the clock. The Lions answered back three minutes later with a goal from Obermeyer off of an assist from Kevin Hutchinson, and then pulled out to a 2-1 lead as Proechel fed a pass to Robert Hutchinson for a goal with 4:36 to go in the period.
It appeared as if the Lions would enter into the second stanza with a 2-1 lead, but a goal from Mount Olive knotted the score at 2-2 with 14 ticks on the clock.
The quarter belonged completely to Saint Leo, with Horn netting a goal at the 12:50 mark, and Marino teaming up with Caiazza with 11:47 on the clock to help the Lions enter into the half with a 4-2 advantage.
The third period saw nine minutes go by with neither team putting a point on the board, but a goal from Yonts with 6:17 to go gave Saint Leo a three goal lead. Mount Olive finally kicked things into gear, however, taking advantage of a man-up opportunity at the 4:48 mark to get things rolling. The Trojans saw another goal with 3:53 on the clock from Cameron Walsh to pull to within one with a score of 5-4 and close out the third quarter.
The final quarter kicked off with a goal from Robert Hutchinson two minutes in, giving the Lions a two goal advantage, 6-4. But the Trojans charged ahead and scored two straight to knot the score at 6-6 with 9:55 to go.
Caiazza netted the next tally, scoring off of an assist from Burke with 8:41 left in the game and igniting a scoring streak that saw the Lions score five unanswered goals to close out the game with a final score of 11-6.
Junior midfielder John Laronga won 15-of-21 faceoff attempts, pulling in a .714 win percentage on the afternoon. Laronga and Moore pulled in six ground balls apiece on the day to lead the game.
Saint Leo led the shot count 37-31, and crushed the game on faceoffs thanks to Laronga's big day. The Lions also took the lead on the ground ball count 32-24, and were successful on 16-of-20 clear attempts. A staunch Saint Leo man-down unit helped hold the Trojans to just one goal on four man-up situations.
The Saint Leo men's lacrosse team returns to action on Monday, March 11, when they host Adams State. Game time against the Grizzlies is slated for 7 p.m. at University Turf Stadium. Fans who cannot make it to the game will be able to catch the action live on the Saint Leo Sports Network at SaintLeoLions.com. For the latest news, updates, and information on the men's lacrosse program, fans can 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.