No. 6 Florida Southern Runs Away from Tampa on Senior Day

LAKELAND - No. 6 Florida Southern (13-2) concluded the home portion of their 2014 schedule with a decisive 19-5 victory over future Sunshine State Conference opponent Tampa at Bryant Stadium today.

Today's win not only breaks the program record for wins in a season with 13, but it also keeps the Moccasins in the chase for their first ever NCAA Tournament berth. The Spartans, who are in their first season of competition, drop to 6-9 with the loss.

After honoring their five graduating seniors in a touching pre-game ceremony, the Mocs got down to business and scored the game's first goal off an unassisted shot from junior Megan Asper (Parkton, Md.) at 25:24. However, Tampa responded with a free-position goal 30 seconds later to tie the game at one-all.

Three straight Moccasin goals from sophomore Cassie Crain (Bunnell, Fla.), Asper and junior Maureen Cromer (Baltimore, Md.) put the Mocs up by three with 23:58 to go before the Spartans found the back of the net for the second time, courtesy of another free position shot, at 16:05 of the first half. The Mocs scored a free-position goal of their own thanks to junior Lorianne Hoover (Annapolis, Md.), followed by back-to-back scores from junior Meghan Colucci (Glocester, R.I.) and the second goal of the day from Cromer, and with 10:05 to go Florida Southern possessed an 8-2 lead over their future conference rivals.

The Spartans ended the Moccasin run with their first non-free position shot of the game at 9:50 to cut the lead to five, but Florida Southern squashed any chances of a miraculous upset with a string of five unanswered goals lasting the final 9:28 of the opening half. Hoover's second free-position goal of the contest started the run, and scores by sophomore Gabrielle Barowski (Alexandria, Va.), junior Caitlin Chase (Mt. Laurel, N.J.), Asper and freshman Chloe Cabigas (Maitland, Fla.) gave the Mocs a 12-3 lead going into the break.

Tampa scored 46 seconds into the second half to put the score at 12-4, but back-to-back goals from Barowski and Hoover gave Florida Southern an 11 goal lead and forced a running clock. The visiting Spartans quickly scored to reduce their deficit to 10 at 24:32, but the Mocs shut the door on the Spartans by scoring the next four goals of the contest. Chase scored her second goal of the day to make it a 16-5 game, and goals from Crain, Asper and sophomore Ashley Robertson (Ellicott City, Md.) over the course of the remaining 21:52 to give the Moccasins their 13th win of the season.

Chase tallied eight points off six assists and two goals, moving her closer to becoming the third Moccasin lacrosse player to score 100 career goals this season, and the second women's player after Asper hit the century mark against Indiana (Pa.). Asper registered six points on the afternoon with four goals and two assists, while Hoover finished with five points off of three goals and two assists. Asper also led the team with six of their 14 draw control victories.

Sophomore Rachel Griffith (Ellicott City, Md.) finished the day with a team-high four ground balls, while six different Florida Southern players caused three Tampa turnovers. In her final home game of the regular season, senior Katie Hammerer (California, Md.) finished with two saves and three groundballs in 54:32 of action, with freshman Taylor Gillis (Bel Air, Md.) playing the final 5:28 of the contest.

Morgan Cheripko led the Spartan offense with three scores and their only assist on the afternoon, in addition to her five draw control wins, while Mallory Mays scored the other two Tampa goals. Mackenzie Muller led the defense with two caused turnovers, while Wylie Cassidy picked up the loss despite making 13 saves and picking up five groundballs.

With their home slate now finished, the Mocs hit the road for their final three games of the 2014 season. Florida Southern travels to Georgia for a two-game trip against Shorter on Friday, April 18, and Shepherd the next day, before wrapping up the regular season schedule against regional rival Rollins on Friday, April 25.

2014-04-12



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