Mocs Win Fourth Straight, Scores 18 Goals in SSC Opener Against Tampa

Grace Donovan
Grace Donovan

LAKELAND - Florida Southern used a 12 goal first half here Sunday evening en route to cruising to an 18-7 victory over Tampa in Sunshine State Conference action at Bryant Stadium.

Sunday's game was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday afternoon, but inclement weather in the Lakeland area forced the game to be rescheduled to Sunday evening.

With the win, the 11th-ranked Moccasins improve to 9-3 overall and 1-0 in the SSC and extend its win streak to four straight, while UT fell to 3-8 overall and 0-2 in the SSC. The Mocs are now 5-0 all-time in SSC women's lacrosse games.

Sunday's victory was aided by a five goal game from sophomore midfielder Emily Santoli (Fort Salonga, N.Y.), while senior defender Grace Donovan (Boise, Id.) recorded her first career three goal game. Senior attacker Ashley Robertson (Ellicott City, Md.) and sophomore attacker Meghan O'Brien (Rochester, N.Y.) each had two goals in the win.

The Mocs got the scoring started just 55 seconds into the game as Robertson took a pass from O'Brien as found the net to give FSC a 1-0 lead. O'Brien would get into the scoring act 20 seconds later as she took a pass from freshman attacker Dani Bursinger (Powell, Ohio) for her 15th goal of the season to give the Mocs a 2-0 lead.

UT, though, would answer with an unassisted goal by Allie Popelar with 27:52 left in the opening half to cut the Mocs lead to 2-1.

Santoli would add two straight goals to give the Mocs a 4-1 lead just a little over five minutes into the game. The Spartans, who snapped a two game win streak with Sunday's loss, would add a goal by Amanda Voges to pull within 4-2.

The Mocs would two more goals from Robertson and redshirt junior attacker Allie Kryjak (Gaithersburg, Md.) to push its lead to 6-2 just a little under seven minutes into the contest.

After Natalie Carraway brought UT within 6-3 on an unassisted goal with 21:05 left in the opening half, the Mocs reeled off four straight goals, including two from Donovan, to push out to a 10-3 lead. The other Moccasin goals were scored by Santoli and freshman attacker Caitlyn Shoaff (Chuluota, Fla.).

Emilie Barbosa stopped the Moccasin run with an unassisted goal with 5:26 left in the half, but FSC would close out the first half with goals from Donovan and senior defender Gabby Barowski (Alexandria, Va.) to go into halftime with a 12-4 lead.

The Mocs opened the second half by scoring four straight goals, including back-to-back goals from Santoli to open the half and bring a running clock into play for the remainder of the game.

UT would score three of the game's final five goals to cap the scoring. FSC's last two goals came from freshman attacker Casey O'Brien (Morris Plains, N.J.) and redshirt freshman midfielder Shannon Mazza (Kings Park, N.Y.).

The Mocs finished the game with a 31-17 edge in shots, including nine shots from Santoli. The Mocs also held a 27-15 edge in shots on goal.

Santoli and Bursinger each recorded five points in the win as Santoli had five goals, while Bursinger finished with one goal and four assists. Megan O'Brien had four points as she added two assists to go with her two goals.

Bursinger and Santoli combined for 13 draw controls as Bursinger had a career-high seven, while Santoli had six.

FSC also played strong defense as they picked up 19 ground balls and caused 16 turnovers as five Mocs recorded two or more caused turnovers.

Barbosa led the way for Tampa with two goals, while Amanda Rom had seven draw controls and four shots.

Sophomore Paige Brodbeck (Millersville, Md.) had another stellar game between the pipes as she recorded eight saves and allowed just seven goals in 60 minutes of action.

Calli Guilday played 55 minutes in goal for UT and had nine saves and a team-high seven ground balls, along with allowing 18 goals.

The Mocs will return to action on Friday, April 8 as they travel to Annapolis, Md., for a 7 p.m. game against Shepherd at Annapolis High School.