TAMPA, FL - Florida Southern College men's lacrosse raced out to a stunning 6-1 lead over No. 1 seed Tampa, but was unable to hold on for the upset in a 13-12 defeat in the semifinals of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament on Friday evening.
The Moccasins (7-8) stunned the Spartans (13-4) by storming out to a 3-0 lead in the first four minutes of action, but Tampa was able to steady itself and outscored the Mocs 10-4 over the final three quarters to earn a trip to the SSC Championship game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Cody Dyer put Florida Southern on the board first when he converted on a man-up opportunity just over a minute into the opening quarter. Colin Bayer and Dalton Simpson would add goals at the 12:14 and 11:03 marks of the opening period to give the Mocs an early 3-0 lead.
• Tampa scored its first goal when Sean Herdman found the back of the net to make it 3-1 with 8:41 to go, but the Moccasins answered back with three-straight goals to take a 6-1 lead on Dyer's second goal of the game with just over seven minutes to go in the first quarter.
• Each team would score twice more before the end of the first period, as Florida Southern took an 8-3 lead into the second quarter. Dalton Simpson extended the lead to six goals (9-3) when he scored with 11:17 to play in the first half.
• However, Tampa would reel off four-straight goals to end the half, including a goal as time expired, and trailed just 9-7 at the break.
• Florida Southern was able to push its lead back to three on two occasions in the third quarter, but the Spartans scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the third quarter to slice the deficit to just one (11-10) heading into the final period of play.
• Tampa's third-quarter momentum would carry over to the fourth quarter, as it scored three-straight to open the period, taking its first lead at 12-11 with 6:12 to play. Conor Whipple would tack on another goal with 5:09 to go.
• The goal would prove to be the difference as Tyler Kopen scored with 27 seconds left to bring FSC within one, but the Mocs were unable to score after winning the final faceoff of the game.
• Florida Southern outshot Tampa 35-34, won 15-of-28 faceoffs and completed 15-of-16 clear attempts. The Mocs also grabbed 25 ground balls.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern fell to 1-3 all-time in the SSC Tournament, including 0-3 against Tampa. The Moccasins were eliminated by the Spartans in the semifinals for the second-straight year.
• Colin Bayer and Dalton Simpson each scored three goals, while Cody Dyer score twice and added three assists. Tyler Kopen had two goals, and Jeff Phelps and Kyle Silverstein each found the back of the net once.
• Austen Lison picked up a game-high seven ground balls, while goalkeeper Matt Lalli made 10 saves on the night.