HICKORY, NC - Florida Southern College women's lacrosse capped off a perfect non-conference schedule with a 17-5 win over Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday evening at Moretz Stadium. The No. 4 Moccasins (16-1) raced out to a 5-0 lead over the Bears (7-8) and never looked back to move to a perfect 12-0 in non-conference games this year. Aubriana Benedetto scored five goals in the game, all of which came in the first half, and the Mocs limited Lenoir-Rhyne to just eight total shots.
Florida Southern will finish out its regular-season slate with a Sunshine State Conference contest on Saturday, April 21 at home against Palm Beach Atlantic. The Moccasins can clinch their fourth-straight SSC regular-season title with a win over the Sailfish next week, or losses by Florida Tech and Rollins in their remaining conference games.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Meghan O'Brien got the Moccasins on the board first when she scored on a feed from Marina Jozokos at the 26:36 mark of the first half, and Emily Santoli followed with her first goal of the game just 14 seconds later. Florida Southern would go on to score the next three goals to snag a 5-0 lead with just under 18 minutes to play in the first half. After the Bears got on the board for the first time at the 16:55 mark the Mocs ripped off seven goals in a row, four of which came from Benedetto, en route to a 13-2 halftime lead.
• Lenoir-Rhyne opened the first half scoring to make it 13-3 with 22:59 left to play, but it would be all the closer the Bears would get as the Moccasins would answer with two consecutive goals to extend the lead back to 12 (15-3) and never led by less than 11 goals the rest of the way.
• Benedetto, who transferred to FSC from Lenoir-Rhyne prior to this season, scored on each of her five shots and added on an assist. Santoli scored three times, while O'Brien, Jozokos, and Sarah Grady each finished with two goals. Sam Keesey led the Moccasin defense with nine draw controls and three caused turnovers, as Florida Southern forced the Bears into 20 total turnovers.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 6-1 all-time against Lenoir-Rhyne and has won six in a row in the series against the Bears. The Moccasins have won 19 straight regular-season, non-conference games dating back to last year.
• Santoli finished with multiple goals for the 14th time in 15 appearances this season. She has tallied at least a hat trick in 12 different games and upped her career goal total to 171. She needs just three more goals to pass Kendall Kerge for second in program history in career goals.
• Florida Southern will close out the regular-season when it hosts Palm Beach Atlantic at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. The Moccasins will honor their seniors prior to the game. This year's senior class has won one national championship (2016), three-straight SSC regular-season titles, two conference tournament titles, and finished as the national runner-up in 2017.