Florida Southern Advances in Overtime Past Saint Leo

Brendan Mykle-Winkler scored the game-winning goal with 4.2 seconds remaining in overtime to help Florida Southern erase a three-goal deficit and defeat Saint Leo 9-8 to advance to the semifinals of the Deep South Conference tournament Tuesday night at Bryant Stadium. The Moccasins advance to play Tampa, which received a first round bye, Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Pepin Stadium in Tampa.

"It took a lot of heart from every player on this team to win this game," said head coach Marty Ward. "This was a total team effort."

Florida Southern fell behind 3-0 after the opening period. Chris Caiazza got the scoring started for Saint Leo with a goal with 4:58 left. George Proechel and Caiazza scored back-to-back goals to give the Lions the 3-0 advantage.

The Moccasins battled back in the second quarter, outshooting the Lions 10-6. Three minutes into the quarter Brad Fretti caused a turnover, picked up the ground ball, and found Ricky DeMicco for a goal to get the Mocs on the board. Dan Krispinsky won the faceoff and on the ensuing possession Kyle Plaugher scored an unassisted goal to cut the lead to 3-2.

Saint Leo scored back-to-back goals to extend its lead to 6-3. After the two teams traded goals, Adam Ismaeil cleared the ball down the right side of the field, cut towards the middle of the field, and scored his fourth goal of the season to cut the deficit to 6-4 at halftime.

Florida Southern carried the momentum into the third quarter, as Dane Sorensen scored an unassisted goal. Minutes later DeMicco connected with Plaugher for his third goal of the game and first career hat trick to even the score at 6-6. Saint Leo kept the pressure on as Larry McLaughlin found Ray Ferrara for a goal to put the Lions ahead 7-6. The Moccasins took advantage of a Lions' penalty, as Mat Thompson found DeMicco for the man-up goal.

Both teams had opportunities to score in the fourth quarter but neither could convert until the 2:06 mark when Robert Hutchinson found Caiazza for the go-ahead goal. After forcing a Lions' turnover, Jon Freda found Sorensen, who squeezed one just inside the post, to tie the game 8-8 with 1:05 remaining. Saint Leo had one final chance, but Andrew Almansberger saved Matt Obermeyer's shot to force overtime.

The Moccasins won the opening faceoff in overtime and had two shots, but were unable to convert either one. Saint Leo's best opportunity came with 43 seconds remaining, as Ferrara had a one-on-one with the goalie, but Almansberger made the last of his 10 saves on the night. Trenell Boggans caused a turnover and picked up the ground ball with 26 seconds remaining. After a shot wide the Moccasins retained possession with 13 seconds left and Freda found Mykle-Winkler in front of the cage for the game-winning goal.

Plaugher led the Moccasins with three goals, while DeMicco tallied two goals and an assists. Ismaeil led the Mocs with four ground balls, while Fretti and Almansberger picked up three apiece.

This was the Moccasins' first overtime game since March 19, 2011 when the Mocs defeated Mars Hill 9-8 in overtime.

In the other first round game, Catawba defeated Wingate 10-4 and advance to play Mars Hill Thursday night.


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