FIT Lacrosse Upset Bid Falls Short to No. 9 Mount Olive
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // March 3, 2015
'They showed resiliency. That’s who this team is'
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida Tech men’s lacrosse (2-1) pushed No. 9 Mount Olive (4-0) to the brink in a 14-12 loss to the Trojans on Monday night at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium.
Nick Wynne paced the Panthers’ offense with two goals and two assists. Daniel Errett notched his second hat-trick of the season and Austen Zugelter added two more goals for FIT.
The Panthers were down early as Mount Olive peppered FIT goalie Christian Koch with 13 shots in the first quarter, six of which found the back of the net for the Trojans.
Florida Tech came out swinging in the second, outshooting Mount Olive 15-3. The Panthers scored seven goals and held the Trojans scoreless in the quarter to go into halftime with a 7-6 advantage. Errett scored all three of his goals during FIT’s second quarter run.
“The defense really stepped it up in the second quarter and caused some turnovers,” said Errett.
“We also played great on face-offs and continued to get our offense the ball back. It took our offense a little bit to settle down this game, but once we did we were able to string some goals together.”
Christian Isola scored first in the second half with a blistering shot that blew past Trojan goalie Ross Bowman to put the Panthers up 8-6. The Trojans then answered with four consecutive goals of their own to close the third quarter up 10-8 over Florida Tech.
Andrew Conley brought the Panthers within one of Mount Olive 11-10 off a man-up goal with 5:57 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Trojans’ Jake Duarte scored two minutes later to push his team’s lead back to two goals and Jesse Mitchell scored just 20 seconds later to give Mount Olive a 13-10 lead with 3:31 left on the clock.
It looked like Florida Tech was going to get right back into the game after a laser by Jason Terry brought the score to 13-11. Mount Olive’s Alex Tindall ended the Panthers’ hope with his sixth goal of the game to put the Trojans up 14-11 with just two minutes remaining in the game.
Nick Wynne was able to find his brother Zach Wynne for the Panthers’ final goal of the game with 46 seconds remaining to bring the score to 14-12.
“Our team fought hard,” said head coach Ryan McAleavey.
“They showed resiliency. That’s who this team is, we take time to figure things out and then we come out firing. That’s what happened tonight. Mount Olive beat us last year by 11 goals, the year before by eight. Now this year, they’re the No. 9 team in the country and we only lost by two goals. I’m proud of the guys, we didn’t stop playing and we came close to taking down a top 10 team.”
Florida Tech will look to get back on track as it heads to North Canton, Ohio to face Walsh University on Saturday, March 7 at 12 p.m.
The Panthers will then travel to Wheeling, West Virginia to take on Wheeling Jesuit on Monday, March 9 at 4 p.m.
Live stats for both games will be available at FloridaTechSports.com