Spartans Rally to Tie But Fall to No. 5 Golden Lions in 3OT

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. - University of Tampa scored three goals in the final eight minutes of regulation to tie the game before eventually falling to fifth-ranked Dowling in triple overtime Saturday afternoon at Golden Lions field. With the win Dowling improves to 4-1, while the Spartans fall to 5-4.

Dowling struck as James Tucci found Billy Richardson for a goal on the Golden Lions first possession. Tampa responded two minutes later as Jake Schmidt's shot found the back of the cage to tie the game 1-1. After the two teams traded goals, Dowling scored two more to take a 4-2 lead after the opening period.

Trevor Calleja won the opening faceoff of the second quarter for the Spartans. On the ensuing possession Schmidt found Blake Pfohl for the goal to cut the deficit to 4-3 with 14:46 remaining. After back-to-back Golden Lions goals, Drew Motschwiller scored an unassisted goal to make it 6-4. Dowling scored three out of the next four goals to take a 9-5 lead at halftime.

The second half began much like the start of first half with Dowling scoring on their first possession. The Spartans responded minutes later as Andrew Smith found Schmidt for a goal. After a Golden Lions goal, Tampa scored three straight goals, including two from Smith, to cut the deficit to 11-9 after the third quarter.

After the two teams traded goals to start the fourth quarter, Derek Muzio netted an unassisted goal to extend Dowling's lead to 13-10 with 7:25 remaining. Calleja won the ensuing faceoff, picked up the ground ball, and found Kyle Hemrick for the goal. Two minutes later Motschwsiller tallied an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to 13-12 with 5:06 left. Tampa forced Golden Lions turnover and Ryan Becker netted the equalizer to tie the game at 13-13 with 1:41 left in regulation to send Tampa to its second overtime game this season.

Tampa dominated the first overtime outshooting Dowling 6-2, but were unable to convert any of those shots into goals. Their best opportunity came at the 1:17 mark when Greg Griffo's shot was saved by Myles Harvey, keeping the scored tied after the first overtime.

The two teams traded opportunities in the second overtime but neither was able to score. Joseph Fiorucci made two big saves for the Spartans send the game into a third overtime.

Dowling won the opening faceoff of the third overtime and on their first possession Brian White found Tom Cleary for a goal to give the Golden Lions the 14-13 win.

Smith led the Spartans with three goals and one assist, while Hemrick, Schmidt, Motschwiller, and Becker each netted a pair of goals. Calleja lead Tampa picking up five ground balls. Andrew Failla and Fiorucci combined to make 13 saves in the contest.

The Spartans will return to action Saturday, March 23, when they to travel to Charlotte, North Carolina to face Wheeling Jesuit at Charlotte Christian School. Game time will be 1:00 p.m.


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