No. 6 Florida Tech Edges Out No. 7 Limestone to Advance to NCAA Quarterfinals

By  //  May 12, 2018

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Panthers defeat Saints, 13-11

After facing an early deficit, No. 6 Florida Tech (17-2) stormed back to grab a halftime lead and then held off a furious second half comeback to defeat No. 7 Limestone (17-3), 13-11, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at Moccasin Field. (FIT Image)

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (Florida Tech) – After facing an early deficit, No. 6 Florida Tech (17-2) stormed back to grab a halftime lead and then held off a furious second half comeback to defeat No. 7 Limestone (17-3), 13-11, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at Moccasin Field.

The Panthers (17-2), winners of a school-record 17 games this season, advance to their second consecutive NCAA Quarterfinal appearance where they will face Sunshine State Conference Champion, No. 3 Florida Southern on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Lakeland, Fla.

It will be the third meeting between the SSC rivals this season and the sixth during the past two seasons, including last year’s NCAA Quarterfinal won by FSC in Lakeland.

Sara Grenier led the Crimson & Gray with four goals. Caroline Dunleavy and Sam Schiano recorded two goals and an assist apiece. Alexis Townsend scored a pair of goals and Mary Gormley added a goal and an assist.

SSC Player of the Year Lauren Tybor dished out three assists and collected a game-high 10 draw controls, five ground balls and three caused turnovers. Brittney Embree tallied one goal and led all players with four caused turnovers.

Stephanie Stuart finished with 13 saves, her fifth double-digit save performance of the season.

Limestone opened the scoring on a goal by Caitlyn Nemeth just 1:28 into the contest. Schiano’s free position goal 30 seconds later tied the game up at 1-1 with 28:02 left in the first half.

The Saints then jumped out to a 4-1 advantage with 16:35 remaining in the opening frame. Dunleavy’s unassisted tally at the 16:02 mark kicked off a 6-1 run by the Panthers that gave them an 8-5 edge at halftime.

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Florida Tech’s momentum continued into the second half as the Panthers opened the period on a 5-0 spurt to corral a 12-5 lead with 19:59 to go. LC netted a pair of goals over a 56 second span to cut the margin to five, 12-7.

Following Embree’s lone goal of the game, it looked as though the Panthers were going to cruise to the victory as they had a 13-7 lead with 15:12 remaining. However, the Saints were not going to go down without a fight and scored four unanswered goals to cut FIT’s advantage to 13-11 with just under three minutes to go.

Limestone was close to making it a one score game on a free position attempt with 1:45 left but Stuart came up big with a clean save. From there the Panthers were able to run out the rest of the clock and earn the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament victory.

Making the result even sweeter was that the win gave head coach Corinne Desrosiers her 100th career victory. Desrosiers picked up 48 of those wins during her four seasons at Florida Tech while the other 52 came in her previous stint at Merrimack College.

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