SAINT LEO, Fla. – The No. 15 Saint Leo men's lacrosse team battled with the visiting North Greenville Crusaders on Thursday afternoon, but the hosts ultimately ended with the win, taking down the Crusaders, 9-7, in non-conference action at University Turf Stadium.
The Crusaders were the first to get on the board and led for three minutes before the dynamic duo of Kyle Pauwels and Jake Gilmour were able to tie the game, and from there the Lions never trailed.
Pauwels finished with a team-high three goals, while Gilmour led the Lions in points with four, as the junior tallied two goals and two assists.
However, it was Saint Leo's unsung players that helped the Lions win. Anthony Visintin ripped two timely goals, while Rob Cavanaugh scored just his second goal of his career in the third quarter with an unassisted dodge play, and Bruce Preeschl added a scoop shot of his own to help the Lions go even in the third quarter. Freshman faceoff specialist Austin DiPietro came off the bench to go 11 for 13 and maintain possession for the Lions.
The Basics Saint Leo bests North Greenville, 9-7 Location: University Turf Stadium | Saint Leo, Fla. Records: #15 Saint Leo 7-1 | North Greenville 5-2
How it happened 1Q | It was a low-scoring opening period, but the Lions got the better end of the deal, going up 2-1. The visiting Crusaders got on the board first at the 11:38 mark, but the pair of Pauwels and Gilmour teamed up to even the game. Anthony Visintin sniped his first score of the game to give the Lions the lead. | Saint Leo 2-1
2Q | Saint Leo, who entered the second quarter in a man-up situation, saw Matt Shand find Kyle Pauwels for the man-up goal just 18 seconds into the period. A second Crusader goal would make it 3-2, but the Lions would tack on two in the final minute of the half as Charlie Kurtenbach dished out dimes to both Visintin and Gilmour. Thomas Tatarian finished with five saves in the period. | Saint Leo 5-2
3Q | Both teams would be held scoreless through the first seven minutes of the second half before an unassisted goal by Rob Cavanaugh would extend the Lions' lead. Cavanaugh recorded the caused turnover on the defensive end and turned around to make the score. Bruce Preeschl would add another for the Lions just a minute later as he backed down the Crusader defender and hit the low-to-high shot around his defender and past the keeper. North Greenville would tally two to close out the third quarter. | Saint Leo 7-4
4Q | Jake Gilmour backed down his defender and spun around to face the goal to snag the first goal of the period of the Lions, and he would then find Pauwels to make it 9-4 for the home team. The Crusaders would attempt to make a comeback, closing the game with three-straight goals, but their surge came too late. | Saint Leo 9-7
Up Next Saint Leo opens up Sunshine State Conference play as they host Florida Southern on Friday, March 24 for a 7 p.m. contest.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's lacrosse team visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.