SAINT LEO, Fla. - Matching up against Florida Southern for the second time in three days, the Saint Leo men's lacrosse team earned the win when it counted, defeating the Mocs by a score of 10-6 on Tuesday evening at University Turf Stadium. The redemption win improves the Lions' mark to 8-4 on the season, and advances Saint Leo to the South Division Finals of the Deep South Conference Tournament.
Proechel netted a hat trick and added two assist for five points on the evening. Tom Horn matched Proechel in points, tallying two goals and three assists, while Matt Obermeyer and Dylan Yonts each placed two shots between the pipes. Freshman Matt Weller notched a goal and an assist on the night to conclude the Lions' scoring for the evening.
In cage, freshman Dave Moore compiled 11 saves and grabbed four ground balls en route to his eighth victory of the season. The Lake Mary, Fla. native saw a total of 35 shots and 17 shots on target from the Moccasins. Moore's adversary, Logan Muether, made set aside 10 shots and earned two ground balls while seeing 33 shots and 20 shots on frame from Saint Leo.
Florida Southern (6-8) was led by Dane Sorensen and Kevin Naslonski with two goals apiece. Sorensen added an assist for a three point evening as five Mocs contributed to the scoring efforts.
Defensively, the Lions saw solid games from Paul Aramanda, Dylan D'Airo, Sean Connolly, and Austin Underwood, while a man-down defensive unit held Florida Southern silent on extra man opportunities. Chris Caiazza, Moore, and Underwood led the team in ground balls with four each, while seven different players earned caused turnovers to thwart the Mocs.
Saint Leo found themselves in a hole to start the game as Sorensen contributed to all three of the Mocs' opening goals, opening with an assist and two consecutive goals to help Florida Southern pull ahead 3-0 with 5:27 to go in the first period. The Lions were finally able to put themselves up on the scoreboard at the 1:24 mark when Proechel connected a pass to Yonts to close out the quarter with a score of 3-1.
Florida Southern extended their lead to three with a goal from Naslonski at the 12:16 mark to open the second stanza, but Proechel rattled off three straight, including two man-up goals, over four minutes to knot the score at 4-4 at the half.
The Lions scoring-streak extended into the third period as Saint Leo out-scored their opponent 3-0 to pull ahead to a 7-4 lead entering into the final quarter. Horn kicked off the final period with a goal with 13:42 left in the game to set the score at 8-4, but two straight goals from Florida Southern pulled the Mocs back to within two with a score of 8-6 and 8:51 to go.
Despite the two quick goals from Florida Southern, Saint Leo was able to swing the momentum back in their favor as Horn ripped a hard shot between the pipes from long range off of an assist from Weller to give the Lions a 9-6 lead. Proechel connected a pass to Obermeyer for the final goal of the game with 3:03 left, and smart play from Saint Leo over the course of the final three minutes helped secure the tournament win.
The Lions return to action on Thursday, April 11, when they make the quick trip to Tampa to take on the Spartans in the Deep South Conference Tournament Semifinal game. Game time against the Spartans is slated for 8 p.m. at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex on the University of Tampa campus. For more information, visit saintleolions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's lacrosse DSC Tournament run by following the Lions on Twitter, an "Liking" the Green and Gold on Facebook.