Florida Southern staged a late rally, but it wasn’t enough, as the Moccasins fell to Saint Leo 10-9 Thursday night in the Deep South Conference Tournament semifinals at Saint Leo. The Mocs finish the season with a 4-9 record, while Saint Leo advances to Sunday's championship game in Salisbury, N.C., against Catawba.
Saint Leo started the game with goals from Cole Sieja and George Proechel to give the Lions a 2-0 lead with 12:06 left in the first quarter. The Moccasins took advantage of a Saint Leo penalty, as Bryan Sbriglia assisted Jon Freda on his first goal of the game. The Mocs tied the game 2-2 with 9:31 remaining in the period, as Corey Brown shot found the back of the cage. Sieja was able to break the tie and give the Lions a 3-2 lead at the 5:17 mark. Brown was able to even the score 3-3 on his second goal of the game.
The Lions struck first in the second quarter as Joe Guerin scored a man-up goal with 13:45 remaining. Less than a minute later, Seabrooke Carter scored to even the score at 4-4. The Lions scored back-to-back goals to take the 6-4 advantage with 8:18 left in the half. The Mocs were able to cut the lead with one second left in the half Freda found Cam Holding cutting to the net for the goal, his first of two goals in the game.
Saint Leo took advantage of back-to-back man-up situations, scoring two goals in 10 seconds to give them an 8-5 lead with 11:17 left in the third quarter. After the Lions and Mocs traded goals, Carter found Jordan Manger who scored as time expired to cut the Lions lead to 9-7 after three quarters.
The Moccasins were able to cut the deficit to one goal as Holding’s shot found the back of the cage with 6:55 left. Kyle Marceau was able to give the Lions some cushion, as he scored his lone goal with 3:59 remaining. On the ensuing face-off, Holding was able to pick up a loose ball and found Manger for the goal, cutting the deficit to 10-9. The Mocs had several chances to tie the game, but were unsuccessful.
Saint Leo outshot the Mocs 46 to 19, went 14-19 on face offs, and had 16 more ground balls.
Andrew Almansberger finished the game with 12 saves and a team high 6 ground balls.
Manger, Holding, and Brown had a pair of goals each, while Freda had one goal and two assist.