FIT Falls To Tampa In Men’s Lacrosse

By  //  February 21, 2013

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Panthers Host Lindenwood On Saturday

TAMPA, FLORIDA – Florida Tech responded with four unanswered goals in the first quarter after trailing Tampa 2-0 to begin the game, but the Spartans outscored the Panthers 5-3 in the second half for an 11-7 men’s lacrosse victory on Wednesday at Pepin Stadium.

Ryan McAleavey is the head men’s lacrosse coach for Florida Tech. (Image courtesy of Florida Tech)

“I think the biggest thing was the depth of the rosters,” FIT head coach Ryan McAleavey said. “Tampa’s roster is almost double our size and they emptied their bench. Tampa is a good team and I don’t want to take anything away from them, but we got tired and made mistakes in the second half.”

Tampa (2-1, 2-0 DSC) opened with the game’s first goal just 55 seconds into regulation. Then the Spartans extended their lead to 2-0 four minutes later.

Florida Tech (2-1, 2-1 DSC) cut the deficit in half 36 seconds later when the Panthers’ leading scorer, freshman Brian Bacarella, picked up a groundball from a shot that hit the post and put it in the back of the net. One minute later, sophomore Andrew Conley tied the game. Conley ripped the shot from 20 yards out to tie the game at 2-2 with 8:01 left in the first.

With 5:45 remaining in the first, Conley rippled the net for a second time to give FIT its first lead of the game at 3-2.

Three minutes later, freshman Alex Carlson scored his fifth goal of the season on a pass from Conley to give the Panthers a two-goal lead. It was a man-up goal—FIT’s fifth of the season. The Panthers scored four unanswered goals for the 4-2 lead.

“We have done that before where we have given up a lead and clawed our way back,” McAleavey said. “The guys played hard.”

The Spartans scored their own man-up goal with 28 seconds left in the first quarter, and then scored the only three goals of the second quarter to take a 6-4 halftime lead.

Sophomore Christian Isola found Carlson for his second goal of the game to open the second half, cutting Tampa’s lead to 6-5. But then the Spartans scored three unanswered goals to take its largest lead at 9-5 with 5:46 remaining in the third quarter.

Bacarella scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season with 12:50 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 9-6. But Tampa responded again, pushing its lead to 11-6 with 2:10 left on the clock.

Isola scored his first goal of the game with 50 seconds remaining, but the Spartans were able to run the clock out despite getting a final penalty with four seconds remaining to give FIT its first loss of the season, 11-7.

Bacarella, Carlson and Conley finished with two goals each, while Conley added an assist. Isola recorded a goal and an assist.

Junior goalie Eric Biller (2-1) finished with a game-high 11 saves in the loss.

FIT will return home on Saturday, Feb. 23 to begin a five-game homestand against Lindenwood at 2 p.m.