BELMONT, N.C. – The Florida Southern men's lacrosse team fell to 0-2 on the young season after an 11-8 road loss against Belmont Abbey Friday afternoon.
It is the second straight year the Moccasins (0-2) have started the season winless in their first two tries and the third time in the last four seasons that have accomplished that feat. However, in both 2012 and 2014, the Mocs responded to finish the season with double-digit wins.
Belmont Abbey (1-0) senior midfielder Riley Quinlan was a thorn in the side of the Mocs right from the get-go. He scored the first two goals of the game at 13:56 and 7:20 in the first quarter. Meanwhile, freshman goaltender Harley Whitham held FSC scoreless for the first 14:28.
Senior attackman Dane Sorensen (Victoria, B.C.) and freshman midfielder Cody Gray (Riverview, Fla.) ended the drought with back-to-back man-up goals only 16 seconds apart. Sorensen scored the first with 32 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and Gray knotted the score at 2-2 with 16 seconds to go with his first collegiate goal.
Sorensen added a third unanswered goal 52 seconds into the second quarter to give the Mocs their only lead of the contest at 3-2.
The Crusaders regained the lead as the Mocs were held scoreless once again for the ensuing 14:52. Belmont Abbey led 4-3 at the half.
Down by one, sophomore attackman Cody Dyer (Slingerlands, N.Y.) drew the game even with FSC's third man-up goal 40 seconds into the third quarter.
Belmont Abbey then went on a 6-2 run to take a four-goal lead. Sorensen and Gray interrupted the flurry with goals of their own at 10:03 and 3:32, respectively, in the third quarter, but Quinlan and Connor Sellars would each collect three points with two goals and one assist to help the Crusaders take their largest lead, 10-6, with 11:22 to go.
Whitham made seven of his 19 saves in the final period to maintain the lead. The Mocs won all six faceoffs in the final quarter and reeled off 11 shots, but could only manage one more tally from VanOverbeke with just over two minutes remaining.
Despite the loss, the Moccasins outgained the Crusaders in nearly every category. They took six more shots (45-to-39), collected seven more ground balls (30-to-23) and controlled the draw circle as sophomore Andrew Fisher (Monkton, Md.) won 15 of the games 21 faceoff attempts. FSC's defense also held Belmont Abbey scoreless on six extra-man opportunities while the Mocs cashed in on three of their four chances.
Sorensen led the team with a trio of goals while Dyer and Gray each had three points. Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Lalli (New Milford, Conn.) made 16 saves in the losing effort.
Quinlan had a game-high six points off four goals and two helpers.
Florida Southern concludes its two-game swing in North Carolina with a stop in Wingate to face the Wingate University Bulldogs on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.