Six Goal Frenzy Gives #7 Mocs Wild Win Over #15 Indiana (Pa.)
LAKELAND - Just in time for March Madness, No. 7 Florida Southern pulled out a heart-stopping, come-from-behind victory over No. 15 Indiana (Pa.), 16-15, at Bryant Stadium.
With the dramatic win, the Mocs improve their record to 7-1 on the season, while the Crimson Hawks fall to 2-2 on the year and 1-0 in the PSAC.
The Moccasins, ranked seventh in the latest IWLCA Division II poll released on Monday, fell behind early with a trio of IUP goals coming in the first eight minutes of the game. But FSC clawed back with scores from juniors Caitlin Chase (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) and Megan Asper (Parkton, Md.).
Two more goals from the Crimson Hawks gave them a 5-2 lead with 13:39 remaining in the first half, but junior Lorianne Hoover (Annapolis, Md.) and freshman Kendall Kerge (Edgewater, Md.) edged the Mocs closer with goals at 5:15 and 1:37 to put the score at 6-5 going into halftime.
Florida Southern came out of the break swinging with goals from sophomore Meghan Colucci (Glocester, R.I.) and Hoover off a free position to pull ahead 6-5. Indiana (Pa.) answered right back with two goals 10 seconds apart to pull ahead 7-6 with 27:32 left in the game.
Sophomore Ashley Robertson (Ellicott City, Md.) netted her first goal of the night at 26:02 to tie the score at seven, but the Crimson Hawks reeled off four straight goals in a 5:14 span to take an 11-7 lead with 18:40 still to play.
Back-to-back goals Asper-to-Hoover goals less than a minute apart brought the Mocs to within two, but two consecutive goals from Indiana (Pa.) gave the visitors a 13-9 lead with time winding down on the Mocs.
Asper scored off a Hoover dish at 9:15 to draw the Moccasins to within three, but scores at 7:58 and 3:00 put IUP up by five, seemingly securing for themselves the upset victory.
What happened in the final three minutes of the second half, however, could only be described as fictional if you weren't at Bryant Stadium to witness it. Off the ensuing draw control, sophomore Gabrielle Barowski (Alexandria, Va.) caused a turnover with a stick check, picked up the ground ball, raced the length of the field and buried a shot at 2:41 to plant the seed of Florida Southern's incredible comeback.
Following a yellow card on Indiana (Pa.), Asper was given the draw control and raced past the Crimson Hawk defense and scored her third goal of the contest at 2:31 to put the Mocs down two with time ticking away.
With the crowd behind the Moccasins, Asper won her fourth draw control of the night and pushed the ball into the IUP end. With 1:31 remaining, sophomore Grace Donovan (Boise, Idaho) set up Chase along the crease and the junior captain ripped it into the back of the net for her third score of the night to put the score at 15-14 in favor of the upset-minded Crimson Hawks.
Hoover won the following draw control, but Asper threw it too high for Chase to come down with, giving it to the Hawks with 1:02 left. IUP gave it right back off a botched clear attempt, and Donovan scooped the ball and dished it to sophomore Marissa Braden (Stuart, Fla.), who fed it to Chase and with 45 seconds left fired it past the Indiana (Pa.) goalkeeper to tie the score at 15-15.
A foul on Hoover on the ensuing draw control gave Indiana (Pa.) the ball with 37 seconds left, but the captain atoned for her mistake by forcing a turnover, scooping up the loose ball and drove into Crimson Hawk territory. She ripped a shot wide with 11 seconds left, but Robertson was there with the ground ball and fed to Asper along the crease with five seconds left. Asper bobbled the pass before collecting the ball and burying it over the goalkeeper's shoulder with no time left on the clock for the win.
The officials conferred and eventually signaled that the goal was good, sending the players rushing onto the field and the Moccasin faithful in the stands into a frenzy in what will surely go down as the wildest finish in Florida Southern women's lacrosse history.
Asper led the Moccasins with eight points off five goals and three assists, with three of her goals coming in the final three minutes of the second half. Hoover netted four goals and tallied one assist for five points in the win, while Chase scored three goals for a hat trick.
Hoover also led the Mocs in draw controls with seven, while freshman Parrisa Sakinejad (Millers, Md.) and senior Katie Hammerer (California, Md.) picked up a team-high five ground balls each. Hammerer also caused three turnovers off one blocked pass and two interceptions to go along with her six saves on the evening. Asper led the team with four of their 17 caused turnovers.
It was statistically even for most of the game, with neither team able to pull away in most categories. The Mocs held a slight 29-26 edge in shots, while the Crimson Hawks picked up 31 ground balls to FSC's 28. The one stat Florida Southern did control, however, was draw controls; the Mocs won 20 compared to IUP's 12, with 15 coming in the second half.
Amy Weinberg led Indiana (Pa.) in total points with five off two goals and three assists. Drew Hayden, Kim Hooven and Michelle Zakrzewski all in scoring with three goals apiece. Hooven also led the team with six ground balls, while Alex Edwards won four of her team's 12 draw controls. Brittney Palardy and Taylor Norwood caused three turnovers each, while Katie Davis recorded eight saves in a losing effort.
Florida Southern's next game takes place on Monday, Mar. 24, when they host Fort Lewis at 7 p.m.