LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College women's lacrosse dismantled yet another nationally ranked opponent with a 20-5 win over No. 23 McKendree on Wednesday evening at Moccasin Field. The No. 1 Moccasins (9-0) used a 10-0 run in the first half to turn a 2-1 edge into an insurmountable 12-1 lead in the blink of an eye, and the Bearcats (1-3) stood no chance as Florida Southern rolled to its 24th-straight regular-season win.
Emily Santoli scored five goals and freshman goalkeeper Brittany Iamele made five saves to hold the Bearcats to just two goals during her time in net. The Moccasin defense limited McKendree to just 19 shots, nearly six less than its season average, and stifled a Bearcat offense that had been averaging 12.33 goals per game entering the night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Santoli wasted no time in putting the Mocs on the board first when she scored less than one minute into the game. Sarah Rheinsmith would take on a goal less than two minutes later to give Florida Southern a 2-0 lead at the 27:46 mark of the first half. After McKendree cut the deficit to one goal (2-1) just over a minute later, Santoli would score back-to-back goals to fuel a 10-0 run over the next 19 minutes as the Moccasins built a 12-1 lead before the Bearcats were able to answer.
• McKendree would tack on a goal with 5:36 to go in the first to make it 12-2, but Santoli responded with her fifth and final goal of the night with just over two minutes to play to give the Moccasins a 13-2 halftime lead. Florida Southern outshot the Bearcats 20-9 in the first half and converted 4-of-6 free-position shots.
• Although the Moccasins dialed back the pressure in the second half, Florida Southern still managed to put seven more goals on the board. Shannon Gilfedder got the second half started with back-to-back goals in the first five minutes of play, and the Mocs converted four more free-position shots later in the period. McKendree scored three times in the second half but it was far from enough as Florida Southern breezed to another easy win.
• In addition to Santoli (5) and Gilfedder (2), Sarah Grady also managed to find the back of the net more than once, hitting one free-position shot in each half. Marina Jozokos led the Mocs with four draw controls and three ground balls, while Santoli and Abby Hammond had two caused turnovers. The Mocs outshot the Bearcats 33-19, grabbed 26 ground balls to McKendree's 15, and completed 18-of-20 clear attempts.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 3-0 all-time against McKendree. The Moccasins picked up their 24th-straight regular-season win dating back to last year and snagged their 20th-straight home victory.
• Santoli scored multiple goals for the fourth-straight game and the sixth time this season. She has played in seven games this season and has a hat trick in five of those outings. Florida Southern has won eight-straight regular-season games against nationally-ranked teams, including four this season.
• The Moccasins recognized select faculty and staff members at halftime of the game as part of Faculty/Staff recognition night. Included among those recognized were Dr. Anne Kerr, Florida Southern College president, and Rob Tate, vice president of advancement.
• Florida Southern opens Sunshine State Conference play with a highly-anticipated road contest at No. 5 Florida Tech on March 24, and is back home on March 27 against Tampa. The Mocs have just three home games remaining with Tampa, Saint Leo (April 10) and Palm Beach Atlantic (April 21).