Florida Southern Holds on to Defeat Tiffin

LAKELAND - In what looked to be another landslide victory for the No. 10 Moccasins, Florida Southern had to hang on against a tough Tiffin team, beating the visiting Dragons 12-8 at Bryant Stadium.

The Mocs, who moved up to 10th in the most recent IWLCA Division II poll, up their record to 4-0 on the season while Tiffin falls to 0-3. The Dragons conclude their two-game Florida road trip on Wednesday when they travel to Orlando to take on No. 7 Stonehill.

The game started out much like the others have this season, with Florida Southern pouncing on their opponents early to build a large lead. Like they have for much of the season, junior Caitlin Chase (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) found junior Megan Asper (Parkton, Md.) for the first goal of the contest at 27:52. Four goals would follow from sophomore Meghan Colucci (Glocester, R.I.), two from Chase and one from junior Lorianne Hoover (Annapolis, Md.) to put Florida Southern up 5-0 with over 17 minutes remaining in the first half.

Tiffin responded in a big way with five unanswered goals over a 15-minute span to tie the score at 5-5 with under five minutes to go before halftime. Four of Tiffin's five goals came off free position attempts.

Freshman Sarah Dibble (Sanford, Fla.) gave Florida Southern a one-point lead with 1:04 remaining, but Tiffin tied it back up at six with 47 seconds to spare before the end of the half. Both teams would go into the halftime with different mindsets; Florida Southern looking to stave off a winless opponent, and Tiffin looking for a statement win early in the season.

The Moccasins came out of the break firing, scoring the first four goals of the second half to go up 10-6 before Tiffin was able to respond. Sophomore Ashley Robertson (Ellicott City, Md.) scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal at 21:50 of the half off a pass from Chase, and captains Hoover and Chase scored the next three goals to put the Moccasins up 10-6.

Tiffin's next goal drew them to within three with under 12 minutes to go, but goals from Dibble and Colucci late in the half put any thoughts of an upset to rest. Tiffin scored their sixth free position goal of the night with 1:36 to go in the game, but Florida Southern controlled the ball and forced key turnovers to earn win number four on the season.

Chase continues to have a strong early season, leading the team with seven points off four goals and three assists. Hoover tallied two goals and an assist for three points, while Colucci and Dibble scored two goals each.

Freshman Parrisa Sakinejad (Millers, Md.) was a force on defense, causing eight Dragon turnovers and scooping up five ground balls. Katie Hammerer (California, Md.) recorded three saves in the win against 14 total Tiffin shots and 11 shots on goal.

Emily Roussel led Tiffin with five goals for five points, with four of them coming off free position shots. Katelyn Hill won seven of her team's 13 draw controls, and Jessica Bombard tallied 16 saves on the night against 30 Moccasin shots.

The next opponent for Florida Southern is No. 3 Limestone on Thursday, Mar. 13, at 4:00 p.m. The Mocs are looking to avenge last season's 8-7 overtime loss to the Saints on the final game of the 2013 season.


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