Grizzlies' Upset Bid vs. Tampa Falls Just Short

ALAMOSA, Colo.- Freshman Mike Telles (Henderson, Nev.) netted his third hat trick of the season, while Adams State played stellar half-field defense, but fell just short of upsetting the visiting Tampa Spartans on Thursday afternoon at the ASU Lacrosse & Soccer Field.

The Spartans, who won their second consecutive Deep South Conference regular season crown before falling in overtime in last week's DSC Tournament Final, did much of their damage in transition en-route to the 5-4 win. The Floridians, who are ranked sixth in this week's initial set of NCAA Division II South Region rankings, improved to 11-5 with the win while the Grizzlies, playing their final home game of the third ever season, fell to 3-8.

Telles' effort, which raised his season goal-scoring total to a team and program-record setting total of 24, was matched by the Spartans' Joey McMahan, who scored an even strength, man-down and man-up goal in the victory.

Seth Stowell (Lakeside, Calif.) also scored what was his 23rd goal of the season for the Grizzlies, who will wrap up the season on Apr. 27 at Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and in-state rival Colorado Mesa, which will host Tampa on Saturday.

Telles has now scored at least once in each of the Grizzlies' 11 games.

On Thursday, McMahan scored the game's opening goal, an unassisted marker, just three minutes and 48 seconds in.

The Grizzlies then bounced back to take a 2-1 lead after the first quarter as Telles scored back-to-back goals, both of which came off Ian Morrison (Menlo Park, Calif.) assists just 36 seconds apart.

The Spartans then broke what was a nearly 19-minute stretch of scoreless lacrosse as Blake Pfohl tied the game at 2 with 2:27 left in the first half moments after the Spartans had killed the first of their five total penalties.

The Spartans then struck again in transition as McMahan converted a Jon McGowan pass on a fast-break to score a man-down goal with 25 seconds left in the half giving the visitors a 3-2 lead at the break.

The teams then played for nearly 10 more scoreless minutes in the third quarter before Stowell scored an unassisted goal with 5:06 left in the third quarter to knot the game at 3.

The Spartans then put the ball in the net, but had their goal waved off as the third-quarter expired a split-second before the potential go-ahead shot.

However, the Spartans would go ahead 4-3 on their second possession of the fourth quarter as Kevin Castle scored off a Jonathan Franzese assist with 12:52 left.

McMahan then doubled the Spartans' lead to 5-3 with 11:11 left as Greg Griffo fed him underneath on an extra-man opportunity, the one of four they would convert. That goal came moments after the Spartans' killed off two concurrent-serving 30-second penalties that gave the Grizzlies a 2-man advantage.

However, Telles answered back for ASU just 1:28 later to cut the gap to 5-4 before a pair of 1-minute Grizzly penalties helped the Spartans run some clock.

Getting out of those two Spartan power-play opportunities unscathed, the Grizzlies forced a pair of Spartan turnovers in the final two minutes but could not convert as they committed a turnover of their own before failing to get a shot in the final 30 seconds as time expired on the upset bid.

The Grizzlies, who rank amongst the nation's leaders in caused turnovers, tallied 14 on Thursday as the Spartans were guilty of 22 overall, six more than ASU. Jordan Stillwagon (Littleton, Colo.) had three of those and finished with four ground balls, helping ASU tally 36 as a team.

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