What a Beginning: Mocs First Lacrosse Game is Overtime Thriller With Hartwick
LAKELAND - With Florida Southern playing its first ever regular season lacrosse match, Wednesday was already a history-making night at Bryant Stadium. But the Moccasins took it one step further and ensured their first game would truly be one for the ages. A big fourth-quarter rally and sudden death overtime were all part of the story as Florida Southern fell to Hartwick (NY) by a score of 7-6.
Florida Southern trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, 5-1 midway through the third, and 6-3 early in the fourth. However, the Moccasins scored three times in the final nine minutes to send it to overtime. Stefan Nippert, Justin Brown and Jon Furdon tallied the fourth-quarter goals, with Furdon putting his in the net with 4:08 remaining. The Mocs then had two more shots in the final two minutes, but each was saved by Hartwick goalie Thomas Bolton.
In overtime, Max Whipple won the face-off for Florida Southern (one of his 13 wins in the game), giving the Mocs possession to start the four-minute sudden death period. Just over a minute later, Brandon Murtha won the ball for Hartwick and the Hawks quickly moved upfield. It appeared they turned it over with 2:30 remaining, but the Hawks got a reprieve when a timeout had been called just before the ball was lost. Given another chance, they converted, with Jake Mahon scoring the game-winner with 2:10 to play.
It spoiled an otherwise thrilling night for Moccasin fans who braved the near-freezing temperatures and got their first real look at Florida Southern's newest intercollegiate team. Freshman Nick Papagikos helped bring the Mocs back by scoring their first two goals of the match, the first one coming with 12:49 to play in the second quarter and assisted by Chase Juelich. The second one came at the 7:45 mark of the third quarter as the Mocs were playing with a man advantage.
After Papagikos' second goal of the match, Nippert scored his first of two to get Florida Southern within 5-3. Hartwick then scored late in the third quarter to set the stage for the dramatic finish.
Florida Southern will take the field again next Wednesday night when it hosts a club team from the University of South Florida in an exhibition game at Bryant Stadium. Game time is 7:00 p.m.