Gray's Goal Late in Overtime Seals Mocs Come-From-Behind Home Win Over Walsh

Gray's Goal Late in Overtime Seals Mocs Come-From-Behind Home Win Over Walsh

LAKELAND - Florida Southern began an 11-game homestand here Friday evening by rallying to post an exciting 9-8 victory in overtime against Walsh University at Bryant Stadium.

Trailing 8-7 late with a little under six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Moccasin junior attacker Cody Dyer (Slingerlands, N.Y.) found the net for his third and final of the game off a pass from senior midfielder Tyler Novak (Holbrook, N.Y.) to tie the game at 8. It was the third goal of the fourth period for the Mocs, who trailed 7-5 entering the final period. 

After neither team was able to muster another goal in the closing five minutes of regulation, the Mocs would seal the victory on a goal with 1:29 left in the first overtime from sophomore midfielder Cody Gray (Riverview, Fla.). Gray's goal set off a wild celebration from the Moccasins as they improved to 2-1 on the young season. 

Gray's goal, which was his second of the game and team-high tying seventh of the season, came after the Mocs had three other shot attempts in the extra session. In fact, Walsh never put up a shot in the sudden death overtime period.

It was the first overtime game for the Mocs since the 2014 season when they posted an 11-10 win at home over Saint Leo on April 5, 2014. The Mocs improved to 5-3 all-time in overtime games in the program's five-plus year history. 

The game was a physical one on both sides as Walsh was whistled for 10 penalties that resulted in 10 man-up chances for the Mocs, while FSC finished with six penalties, including a back-to-back major penalties in the third period that gave Walsh (0-1) two man-up goals. Those two goals gave the Cavaliers, who were playing their first game of the 2016 season, a 6-5 lead.

In fact, on the night, Walsh was 5-for-6 on man-up opportunities as five of their eight goals came on man-up situations.

Walsh got on the scoreboard first just a little less than two minutes into the contest as Ryan Martin scored off a pass from Nicholas Castorf to give the Cavs a 1-0 lead.The remainder of the first period belonged mostly to the Mocs as they scored three consecutive goals, including a man-up goal by Dyer with 10:29 left in the period, to take a 3-1 lead.

Walsh, though, would gain some momentum heading into the second quarter as Bryan Grim scored the first of his four goals on the night with 25 seconds left in the first period.

A goal by freshman midfielder Nick Gutmann (Long Island, N.Y.) just a little over four minutes into the second period gave the Mocs a 4-2 lead.

Walsh would use goals from Crim and Benjamin Suchomma, the latter coming on a man-up situation, to force a 4-all tie at the half.

Gray would find the nets just 10 seconds into the third quarter as the Mocs took advantage of a man-up situation that was created on an unnecessary roughness penalty by Zach Macaluso with nine seconds left in the second period to take a 5-4 lead.

Walsh would respond by scoring three consecutive goals in the third period to push out to its 7-5 lead after three periods. Crim scored two of Walsh's goals in quarter and all three of the goals came on man-up opportunities by the Cavs.

The Mocs would tie the game at 7-7 in the fourth quarter thanks to goals from sophomore midfielder Lucas Claude (Calgary, Alberta) and freshman attacker Liam Winwood (Kings Park, N.Y.).Walsh would retake the lead with 5:53 left in the fourth period on an unassisted goal by Frank Savena. 

Savena's goal, though, would ignite the Mocs was Dyer would score just 13 seconds later to retie the game at 8.

On the night, the Mocs were outshot, 35-28 and committed 23 turnovers to Walsh's 14, but held a slight edge in face-offs and ground balls. FSC finished the night 12-for-20 on face-offs, including freshman midfielder Joseph Biondi, Jr. going 12-for-19 in the draw control circle and also recorded 24 ground balls, including five from Biondi, Jr. 

Dyer, Gray and Gutmann combined for a total of 14 shots in the win, while Crim had eight shots and Savena had seven shots on the night.

Gray, Dyer and Claude all had three points as Cluade recorded two assists to go with his one goal, while Gray had two goals and an assist and Dyer scored three goals. Junior attacker Tyler Kopen (Wynnewood, Pa.) also had two assists for the Mocs. 

Junior Matt Lalli (New Milford, Conn.) went the distance in goal for the Mocs as he finished the night with 14 saves and allowed just eight goals in a little more than 62 minutes of action. Lalli, who was this week's Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Week, saved a combined nine shots in the second half, including recording five saves in the fourth period. 

Walsh's Dylan Ciolino also went the distance in goal for the Cavs as he recorded 11 saves, allowed nine goals and caused three turnovers. 

The Mocs homestand will continue this coming Monday, Feb. 22 as they host No. 5 ranked  Adelphi for a 4 p.m. game at Bryant Stadium. Adelphi suffered a 19-11 loss on Friday at Tampa.