Mocs Get First Conference Victory With Win Over Wingate
WINGATE, N.C. – It was a chilly blustery day here on John R. Martin Field at Irwin Belk Stadium on the campus of Wingate University but the weather didn’t seem to be much of a factor for the Moccasins as Florida Southern improved to 2-1 on the season, 1-1 in Deep South Conference action, after beating the Wingate Bulldogs 11-7.
The Mocs who led 7-3 at half looked to be in control going into half number two but the Bulldogs, who fell to 1-4, 0-1 in DSC, on the season, had other plans as FSC wasn’t able to put Wingate away till late in the fourth period where Kevin Naslonaski (East Setauket, New York) scored all three of his goals.
Earning his first start of the season was freshman goalie Jay Kuhn (Bel Air, Md.). Kuhn, who notched the win for the Mocs, earned his second win of the season, after allowing only seven goals and tallying seven saves on the afternoon.
The Mocs and Bulldogs would trade two goals each in the first period. FSC would strike first however as Dane Sorensen (Victoria, British Columbia) would put in a goal on an assist from Shane Tompkins (Bear, Del.). After Wingate tied it at one, Sorensen added to his goal total with an unassisted goal to put the Mocs back up by one. It looked like the Mocs would head into the second period with a one shot lead but the Bulldogs would score with five seconds remaining in the period to tie it up at two all.
Whereas the first period was back and forth between both teams, the Mocs would decisively control the second period scoring five goals and almost shutting out the Bulldogs for the majority of the period.
Stephen Boyle (Selden, New York) would start the scoring run, in the second period, for the Mocs putting in a man-up goal within the first minute of action. Chris Murphy would put in another Moc goal less than a minute later pushing FSC’s lead to 4-2. Tompkins would then bookend a series of three Moccasin goals with Brendan Mykle-Winkler (British Columbia) scoring in between Tompkins’ two goals during that scoring stretch. The Mocs looked like they would head into the half with a second period shutout but like the first period the Bulldogs would find the net with five seconds remaining on the clock. Heading into the half the Mocs led Wingate 7-3.
The Bulldogs seemed to pull out a never say die attitude coming out of halftime however as they would make things close in both the third and fourth periods.
In the third, Wingate would outscore the Mocs two-to-one and then added a quick goal at the start of the fourth period to close the Mocs lead to just two goals, 8-6. The Mocs would answer however on a goal by Naslonski. The Bulldogs would cut the lead back to two only seconds later however after they won the ensuing faceoff.
Naslonski would strike again though adding two more unassisted goals to stop the Bulldogs comeback; both goals would come in the final 3:30 of action.
Leading the offensive charge for the Mocs was Naslonski and Tompkins who each tallied four points. Naslonski's three goals on the afternoon brought his team leading season goal tally to eight goals; his fourth point came on an assist. Tompkins earned two goals and two assists giving him a team leading five assists on the season.
Defensively the Mocs were led by junior DJ Lubs (Rockford, Mich.) who picked-up a season-high seven ground balls during the game and caused one turnover. Overall the Mocs would pick-up ten more ground balls than the Bulldogs, 36-26 and would cause a total of six turnovers.
FSC gets back to action Saturday, March 2 as they will end their two-game road trip in North Carolina against Belmont Abbey; the match-up is scheduled for a noon start time.