No. 6 Florida Southern Holds on vs. Rollins

WINTER PARK - In their final regular season game of the 2014 season and fourth all-time meeting with their Florida rivals, No. 6 Florida Southern weathered a late rally to hang on for a 16-13 victory over the Rollins Tars at Baker Family Stadium on the Rollins campus.

With the win, the Mocs overall record improves to a program-best 16-2 as they look to reach the NCAA postseason for the first time in three seasons of competition. As for Rollins, the loss drops their record to 7-8 and brings their losing streak to five on the year.

The Tars struck first with a goal at 27:34 of the first half, but the Mocs answered back two minutes later with a score from junior Lorianne Hoover (Annapolis, Md.) off a feed from junior Caitlin Chase (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) to knot the game at 1-1 before Chase assisted on the go-ahead goal by junior Maureen Cromer (Baltimore, Md.) with 23:08 to go in the half.

Back-to-back goals exactly one minute apart gave Rollins a 3-2 lead before junior Megan Asper (Parkton, Md.) tied the score on a free-position shot following a Rollins yellow card at 14:40. The Tars retook the lead at 11:34, and added to their lead with a one-on-one rip on the crease to make the score 4-2 in favor of the host Tars with 9:39 still left on the clock in the half.

Asper found the back of the net at 8:54 and again just 27 seconds later on consecutive free-position attempts tied the score at 4-4. Chase's third assist of the contest, this one to sophomore Marissa Braden (Stuart, Fla.), gave the Mocs with 6:57 remaining in the half. Asper's fourth score of the half 37 seconds later increased the Florida Southern lead to two, and Hoover's second rip of the contest made it an 8-5 Moccasin lead with 5:38 to go before halftime.

FSC continued to pile on the points, with Hoover dishing to Kendall Kerge (Edgewater, Md.) for the freshman's first goal of the contest before striking again only 14 seconds later to up the FSC lead to five. Hoover scored her third goal of the contest to make it an 11-5 score for the Scarlet-and-White before Rollins ended the Mocs run at eight with a goal at 1:30, and the first half concluded with the Moccasins leading 11-6.

Kerge started the second half with her third goal of the night two minutes after the break, and sophomore Ashley Robertson (Ellicott City, Md.) ripped it past the Tar goalie for the Mocs' to make it a 13-6 lead with plenty of time remaining in the half. A pair of unassisted Rollins goals at 18:58 and 18:22 brought the Tars to within five, but Chase scored on an empty-net after a foul on the goalkeeper to bring the Moccasin lead back to seven with 15:21 to go in the game.

The Tars fired a free-position fastball past Hammerer at 13:25 to bring the margin to within five, but the fourth goal of the night from the captain Hoover put the Mocs back up by six with 12:10 remaining in the game.

Rollins continued to battle, finding the twine at 11:51 to reduce the deficit back to five, but Robertson scored her second of the game on an easy empty-netter to put the Mocs up six with 8:17 left in the contest. A late Rollins goal at 3:11 made it a 16-11 score, before a free-position shot found the back of the net to bring the Tars to within four with 2:38 left before the final horn sounded.

Another Tar goal just 14 seconds later made it a three-point affair and suddenly Florida Southern was on the ropes with momentum behind host Rollins. A one-on-one shot with Hammerer and the Rollins attacker clanged off the pipe, and the reigning Division II Goalie of the Year stopped another shot and brought it the length of the field for a successful Moccasin clear with 51 seconds left on the clock. Florida Southern ran out the clock to preserve the victory, their first over the Rollins program in four tries.

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