Florida Tech Panthers Upset No. 5 Tampa Spartans 7-6 In Men’s Lacrosse

By  //  March 22, 2018

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The Florida Tech men’s lacrosse team just achieved something that no other Sunshine State Conference team has ever done before, as the Panthers handed No. 5 Tampa its first ever conference loss, 7-6, on Wednesday afternoon at Panther Field. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech men’s lacrosse team just achieved something that no other Sunshine State Conference team has ever done before, as the Panthers handed No. 5 Tampa its first ever conference loss, 7-6, on Wednesday afternoon at Panther Field.

Prior to today’s game, Tampa was 20-0 against league opponents, but UT now has one digit in the loss column as FIT picked up its first ever win against the Spartans in program history.

The contest was the league opener for both teams. FIT improves to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in the SSC, while Tampa moves to 8-2 and 0-1 in conference play.

Senior goalie Daniel Flock stood on his head in the game, racking up 17 saves against the Spartans. He made 11 stops in the second half alone.

Luke Palmisano scored two goals for FIT, while Mason Ostrowski and Tyler Covey recorded one goal and an assist, apiece. Logan Sweeney, Tajee Mobley and Justin Williams each tallied a goal.

Addison Abramson collected four ground balls and accounted for four of the Panthers’ nine caused turnovers in the game.

The first eight minutes went scoreless despite both teams having several very good opportunities to get on the board. Ostrowski finally broke the stalemate with his third goal of the season with 6:50 left in the first quarter off an assist from Covey.

Luke Robideaux tied the game at 1-1 with a fast break goal at 6:34 remaining in the second quarter. Mobley scored off a feed from Reid Chaconas 32 seconds later to give FIT a 2-1 edge. The Panthers would hold onto that one-goal lead as the teams went into halftime.

After Sweeney’s man-up tally pushed FIT’s lead to 3-1 early in the second half, Matt Vetter netted an unassisted goal for UT to cut the margin back to one with 11:28 to go in the third.

It did not take long for the Panthers to answer as Palmisano scored his first of the game off an assist from Carson Clough to increase FIT’s advantage to 4-2.

Covey then beat his defender on the right wing and fired a shot into the top corner to push the lead to 5-2 with 7:54 left in the third period.

Consecutive goals by the Spartans decreased the margin to one, 5-4. Williams responded with a rocket on the run from the right wing to make it a two-score game, again, with 1:36 remaining in the third.

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With just seconds to go in the third frame, Andrew Kew powered through the Panther defense to bring UT to within one heading into the fourth.

The fourth quarter was back-and-forth between the teams with both goalies making big saves to keep the score the same. Palmisano’s fast break goal with 1:38 left proved to be the game-winner as the Panthers went ahead 7-5.

Kansai Garey put in the final goal for UT with 32 seconds to go but it was too little too late as the Panthers held on for their first ever win over the Spartans in nine tries.

Florida Tech has little time to celebrate the victory as the Panthers host No. 10 Mount Olive on Saturday, Mar. 24, at Panther Field. Opening face off for the game is set for noon. Fans can access live coverage of the matchup at FloridaTechSports.com/live.

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