Mars Hill Fends off Rally by Florida Southern

MARS HILL, N.C. - The #12 Lions overcame a early deficit and then held off a late surge by DSC-rival Florida Southern to remain undefeated with an 8-7 victory Thursday night. At 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the DSC, Mars Hill is enjoying their best start in school history.

FSC (1-3/1-2 DSC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the 6:16 mark of the first quarter before Blake Mattinson finally got the Lions on the board with 4:53 left in the opening period. MHC then scored three goals in the final 2:11 of the first frame to lead 4-2 going into the second quarter. Dan Applebaum scored with 12 seconds left in the half to record what would later prove to be the game winner and then Taylor Thilo had an impressive tip in on a pass from Chris Cudmore with one second left on the clock to end the first period of play. The team traded goals in the second stanza to send the teams into the locker room at the intermission with the hosts leading 5-3.

The Lions won the third quarter 3-2 to take a 8-3 advantage heading into the last quarter. Unfortunately the Lions were held scoreless in the fourth quarter as FSC put up two unanswered goals to make the final tally 8-7. Dylan Price had three important saves in the fourth quarter to help the Lions hold on for the win. FSC outshot the Lions, 9-5 in the last frame.

Thilo led MHC offensively with two goals and the same number of assists. Mattinson followed with two goals and a pair of ground balls. Cudmore led the Lions' defense with three caused turnovers and six ground balls. Zack Tomkinson had two caused turnovers, his most important coming with one second left in regulation that stifled any chance of FSC tying the game. Price played all 60 minutes in goal for MHC and made 14 saves.

Mat Thompson led FSC with two goals. Andrew Almansberger also played the entire game in the net for the Moccasins and made 12 saves.

Shots were even at 29 apiece. MHC edged the Mocs in ground balls, 37-33 while FSC won 10-19 face-offs. FSC was 1-6 on extra-man opportunities while the Lions were 1-1.

Mars Hill will play at Queens on March 7. Game time in Charlotte, N.C. is set for 4:00 p.m.

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Trailing by five midway through the third quarter, the visiting Moccasins scored four unanswered goals, but it wasn't enough, as Mars Hill held on for the 8-7 win Thursday night. With the win, Mars Hill improves to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the DSC, while the Moccasins fall to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

Five minutes into the first quarter A.J. Monteleone found Jon Freda for a goal to give the Mocs a 1-0 lead. Kevin Naslonski followed with an unassisted goal to extend the Mocs lead to 2-0 with 6:16 remaining. Mars Hill responded with four unanswered goals, including two in the final seconds to take a 4-2 lead after the opening period.

Mars Hill extended its lead to 5-2 on Blake Mattinson's goal one minute into the second quarter. Ricky DeMicco scored an unassisted goal to cut the lead to 5-3, which is how it remained at halftime.

Mars Hill came out firing in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals and taking an 8-3 lead with 4:37 left in the third quarter. The Moccasins battled back, getting back-to-back goals from Mat Thompson to cut the lead to 8-5 after three periods.

Florida Southern continued its aggressive attack in the fourth quarter. Five minutes into the quarter Shane Tompkins connected with Dane Sorensen for his first goal of the season. Adam Ismaeil picked up a ground ball off a Lions' turnover and drove the field for the goal, cutting the lead to 8-7 with 3:10 left in the game. The Moccasins had two opportunities to tie the game but were unsuccessful.

Andrew Almansberger made 12 saves and picked up four ground balls, while Dan Krispinsky went 10-19 on face-offs.

Florida Southern returns to action Wednesday when it hosts conference foe Wingate at Bryant Stadium. Game time is 7:00 p.m.


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