Catawba Upsets #10 Mars Hill to Reach DSC Final

MARS HILL, N.C. - Catawba upset no. 10 Mars Hill College 9-7 in the semifinal round of the Deep South Conference Tournament. The game was played in the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium. The Lions fell to 11-3 on the season while the Indians improved to 13-2 on the year.

Braden Artem led the Indians with a game high four goals. John Scheich followed with one goal and three assists while Tom Cullop came off the bench to add a goal and two assists. Michael Pecchia played extremely well in goal for Catawba making 25 saves facing 43 shots.

Cade Zulak led MHC with two goals and three ground balls. Dan Applebaum followed with a goal and an assist. Dylan Price played all 60 minutes in the net for the Lions and made 13 saves.

MHC outshot Catawba, 43-39. The Lions also won the ground ball battle, 31-20. Catawba won 11-20 face-offs and was 1-2 on extra man opportunities. MHC was 0-1 in extra man opportunities.

Catawba won the first quarter 2-1 before MHC outscored the Indians 4-2 in the second frame to take a 5-4 lead into the locker room at the intermission.

The third stanza was all Catawba as they scored three unanswered goals to take the lead (7-5) for good heading into the last period. Cullop notched what would later prove to be the game winner at the 8:41 mark of the third quarter. His goal was unassisted. The fourth quarter saw each team score twice to make the final tally 9-7 in favor of the Indians.

In the other DSC semifinal, Florida Southern upset Tampa, 11-7. Mars Hill will host the DSC Championship game on Sunday, April 15. The event which will pit the Indians of Catawba College against the Moccasins of Florida Southern is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

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MARS HILL, NC -- Catawba goalie Michael Pecchia (Coquitlam, BC/Heritage Woods HS) posted 25 saves to help Catawba knock off 10th-ranked Mars Hill 9-7 in the semifinals of the Deep South Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament on Thursday night at Meares Stadium. The Catawba Indians improve to 13-2, setting a school record for wins in a season. The Lions fall to 11-3.

It marked the second straight year the Indians had topped the North's top-seed to advance to the final. The win sets up a rematch of last years final between Catawba and Florida Southern, an 11-7 victor over Tampa. The tournament championship game will be held on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Mars Hill.

Catawba had been defeated easily by Mars Hill in the regular season match-up, trailing 13-2 at one point before falling 16-10. On Thursday, Pecchia, who missed the first game with an injury, stopped nine shots in the first quarter as Catawba led 2-1. Mars Hill took the lead with a pair of goals early in the second quarter and held a 5-4 edge at the break following a tally by Ryan Sage just 29 seconds before the half.

The Indians took charge in the third quarter with three unanswered goals. John Scheich (Waxhaw, NC/Weddington HS) and Tom Cullop (New Windsor, MD/S. Carroll HS) scored 45 seconds apart to give the Indians a lead with 8:41 to go in the third quarter. Catawba went on to add three more goals in the five-goal spurt that pushed the margin to 9-5 with 7:13 remaining. Cade Zulak scored twice for the Lions in the final five minutes, but the Indians had built a cushion that Mars Hill could not overcome.

Braden Artem (Acton, Ontario/Christ the King HS) scored four goals to pace the offense. Scheich added three assists to his goal. Cullop handed out two helpers. Zulak had a pair of goals for Mars Hill. Dan Applebaum and Blake Mattinson each had a goal and an assist. Dylan Price recorded 13 saves for the Lions.

Catawba topped Florida Southern 10-8 for the tournament title last year, the first DSC Championship for the Indians. The Moccasins won the first meeting this year between the teams, 13-8 in Lakeland, FL.


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