Florida Tech Drops OT Heartbreaker to Wheeling Jesuit

MELBOURNE, Fla. Despite nine penalties, Florida Tech (1-3) held Wheeling Jesuit (3-0) to three man-up goals. The Panthers scored four unanswered goals between the third and fourth periods to take an 11-10 lead with 4:42 remaining in regulation. However, a goal with 32 seconds left tied the game at 11 and in overtime, the Cardinals were able to strike first, escaping FIT's home opener at Hustler Stadium with a 12-11 victory.

Seven first-half penalties allowed the Cardinals to take an 8-4 lead after two periods. Andrew Conley and CJ Nichols scored two goals apiece in the first half. Jordan Hayes recorded eight saves in the first 30 minutes of action.

A heartbreaking loss for the Panthers for the third straight game, FIT trailed by as much as five goals in the third quarter. FIT followed with three goals by Nichols, Nick Wynne and Brian Bacarella to make it a 9-7 contest with 6:52 remaining in the period. A goal by the Cardinals gave WJU a three-point cushion, and goals by Austen Zugelter (two), Nick Wynne and Nichols allowed Florida Tech to erase its deficit and take a one-goal lead with just under five minutes left to play.

"The hardest part about losing three consecutive games by three goals is that we rallied back to tie the game or take a lead," said third year head coach Ryan McAleavey. "It's just a heartbreaker. We started off slow with most of our penalties coming in the first half and whenever you spot a great team like Wheeling Jesuit six man-up opportunities, they will capitalize. Fortunately, Jordan Hayes and our man-down unit came up big and limited its man-up goals. We gave them too many opportunities."

Nichols led FIT with four goals and added an assist, Wynne, Conley and Zugelter each scored two goals, and Nick Brown and Mike Marshner registered two assists. In his second start of the season, Hayes recorded 14 saves but fell to 0-2 while Cardinals goalie Joe Amsler improved to 3-0 after stopping four shots.

The Panthers return to action in two days, hosting Catawba College on Monday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. Live stats, audio and video will be available and can be accessed by visiting FloridaTechSports.com, the official home of FIT athletics.

Admission to all home lacrosse games is free with a valid Florida Tech ID. Ticket prices are $7 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens ages 65 and up, youth ages 5-16 and non-Florida Tech students with school ID. Children ages four and under are also free.

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MELBOURNE, Fl. The Wheeling Jesuit Lacrosse team needed overtime to do it, but secured another big win on their spring break trip through Florida, this time taking a 12-11 victory over Florida Tech.

The win puts the Cardinals at 3-0 after sweeping through the Sunshine State undefeated. It was a road trip also punctuated by a win over top-15 ranked Saint Leo. That win, combined with the win over the Tech Panthers could very well see the Cardinals climb into the NCAA top 15 rankings.

WJU jumped out to an 8-4 lead after two periods, with a pair of goals coming from both Bryce Brochu and Tyler Wickett in the first stanza, as well as a hat-trick from Landon DelPrince. Tyler Johnson also added a goal for the Cardinals assisted by Tyler Buchan.

In the second two quarters however, the Tech Panthers roared back to life rattling off seven goals in a span where WJU only managed one. FIT scored with 4:42 left to play on a goal by CJ Nchols to give the Panthers the lead at 11-10.

With the minutes and seconds ticking away, the Cardinals couldn't find the shot they needed to bring the scores back to level until Johnson scored again on an unassisted goal with 33-seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 11-all, and send it into overtime.

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