Mars Hill Tops Saint Leo for First-Ever DSC Title

Mars Hill, N.C. -- The Mars Hill College men's lacrosse team earns its first-ever Deep South Conference tournament title Sunday, as the host Lions utilized a 5-0 second quarter run to take a 9-7 victory over Saint Leo University Sunday in the DSC championship game at the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium on the MHC campus.

With the victory, number three seed Mars Hill concludes the 2008 season 11-6 overall. Number four seed Saint Leo falls to 7-8 overall in only its third year of NCAA competition. The MHC Lions sweep two games against the SLU Lions this year, as Mars Hill picked up a 9-5 victory at Saint Leo on March 22, 2008. Both teams were playing in their first DSC championship game.

Mars Hill freshman midfield Tyler Farmer (Calgary, Alberta) led the host Lions with three goals and three assists on the afternoon. MHC junior attack David Hodgins (Windsor, Ontario) and senior midfield Miles Robinson (Hicksville, N.Y.) contributed two goals each for the victors.

For Saint Leo, junior attack Benjamin Brigham (Scituate, Mass.) and junior midfield Mark Dargon (Newton, Mass.) tallied two goals each for the visitors from Florida. Dargon led the SLU Lions with three assists on the afternoon.

Tyler Farmer and his brother and sophomore midfielder Danny Farmer (Calgary, Alberta) played a big role in the 5-0 second quarter flurry. Tyler Farmer had one goal and two assists during the run, while Danny Farmer added one score. Danny Farmer scored his only goal of the contest at the 5:11 mark of the second frame on an assist from Tyler Farmer, giving Mars Hill a 5-2 lead.

Mars Hill junior midfield Jeff Cizdziel (Stafford, Va.) concluded the run on an unassisted goal with 4:39 to play in the second quarter. Cizdziel's goal gave the MHC Lions a 6-2 advantage. From start to finish, the 5-0 run spanned exactly four minutes and 50 seconds.

Saint Leo did not fold the tents, putting together a 3-0 run spanning the second and third quarters to pull within one goal. Three different student-athletes scored in the flurry, capped by a goal from sophomore midfield Kyle Marceau (Concord, N.H.) with 9:04 to go in the third frame. Dargon assisted Marceau on the play, cutting the SLU deficit to 6-5.

Tyler Farmer stepped up again, netting an unassisted goal 26 seconds later (8:38) to give Mars Hill a 7-5 lead. Farmer helped on the next goal, assisting Robinson on his second goal of the day to push the MHC Lions' lead to 8-5 with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter.

Saint Leo cut the margin to two when freshman midfield Gregg Geiss (Syracuse, N.Y.) found the back of the nets on an assist from Dargon one minute later (5:26). Mars Hill's Hodgins and Saint Leo's Dargon traded fourth quarter goals to seal the final margin for the MHC Lions.

Mars Hill held a 36-24 advantage in shots and a slim 18-17 edge in shots on goal. The MHC Lions collected 45 ground balls compared to Saint Leo's 36. Saint Leo took advantage of every opportunity, as the SLU Lions converted two man-up goals (in three tries).

Both goalkeepers played 60 minutes. Mars Hill junior goalie Nick Sigona (Auburn, N.Y.) racked up 10 saves while allowing seven goals. Sigona had plenty of help, as the Mars Hill defense held Saint Leo junior attack Chris Storrie (Syracuse, N.Y.) to zero goals and two assists on the afternoon. Storrie entered the contest with a team-best 29 goals.

Saint Leo sophomore goalie DJ Garry (Greenwood, Ind.) collected nine saves on the afternoon. He gave up nine goals. Garry faced 36 shots, compared to 24 shots faced for Mars Hill's Sigona.

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