Florida Tech Downed by Undefeated and No. 4 Tampa

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men's Lacrosse) No. 4 Tampa used a nine-goal third quarter to pull away from Florida Tech and win 21-13 Wednesday night at Melbourne Central Catholic's Hustler Stadium.

The Panthers drop to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in the Sunshine State Conference with the defeat. The Spartans, meanwhile, remain undefeated at 8-0, 2-0 SSC.

FIT went toe-to-toe with Tampa in the opening 30 minutes. CJ Nichols helped his team capitalize on a man-up opportunity with an assist from Brian Bacarella with 12:39 to play in the second quarter. The goal, Nichols' third of the game and 17th of the season, gave the Panthers a 6-5 lead.

Tampa quickly put a halt to FIT's momentum by scoring four straight goals. Bacarella broke the Spartans' streak with his 16th goal of the campaign at the 2:30 mark of the second quarter. The two teams went into the half with Tampa leading FIT 10-7.

Andrew Conley cut the opposition's lead down to two less than three minutes into the third quarter with an assist from Nichols. However, Tampa scored seven straight goals in a span of six minutes, 26 seconds to take a 17-9 lead. It would tack on four more goals to secure its second SSC win.

Freshman Zach Kunkel (0-1) received his first career start in goal and turned away 13 of the Spartans' 47 shots. Tampa finished 28 of 38 in faceoffs and collected 52 ground balls. FIT held the Spartans to 4 for 8 in extra man opportunities.

Conley registered four goals and now has nine on the season. Bacarella and Alex Carlson had two goals each. Christian Isola and Mike Marshner both scored once, and the goal was Marshner's first of the season.

The Panthers will now hit the road for three straight away games starting on Saturday against Brevard at 1:00 p.m. They will then play the following day at Mount Olive at 2:00 p.m. The road trip concludes on March 29 at Rollins.

The next and final time the Panthers will play at home this season is on April 5 against Lynn at 7:00 p.m. at Hustler Stadium. Prior to the game, the team will recognize Evan Ryan as part of Senior Day.

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Melbourne, Fla. - Conor Whipple scored five goals and dished out six assists to help the No. 4 University of Tampa men's lacrosse team defeat conference foe Florida Tech 21-13 Tuesday night at Hustler Stadium. With the win the Spartans improves to 8-0 and 2-0 in the SSC, while the Panthers falls to 1-6 and 0-2 in conference play.

Tampa struck first as Justin Fitzpatrick found Whipple for a goal 14 seconds into the opening period. Tampa won the ensuing faceoff and on their possession Whipple connected with Jake Rooney for a goal to extend the lead to 2-0. After a Panther goal, Trevor Calleja won the faceoff, picked up the ground ball, and netted his first goal of the season. Florida Tech scored back-to-back goals to even the score 3-3 with 8:59 left in the first quarter. Tampa responded as Brian Patton and Calleja scored back-to-back goals to give the Spartans a 5-3 lead after the opening period.

Florida Tech came out firing to start the second quarter and scored three straight goals to take a 6-5 lead with 12:39 remaining in the first half. Tampa responded 40 seconds later as Brian Patton netted the equalizer to tie the game a 6-6. Matt Bilak and Whipple scored back-to-back goals, before Rooney netted a pair of man-up goals to give the Spartans a 10-6 lead with 5:22 left in the second quarter. Brian Bacarella scored an unassisted goal for Florida Tech to cut the lead to 10-7 at the half.

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