Offensive Explosion Propels Spartans past Cobras

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's lacrosse team scored nine straight goals during the second and third periods en route to a 17-7 win over Coker Saturday afternoon at Pepin Stadium. With the win Tampa improves to 3-2 on the season, while the Cobras fall to 1-4.

Coker struck first as Keith LaClair scored an unassisted goal in transition to give the Cobras a 1-0 lead. Minutes later Tampa responded as Joey McMahan found Kyle Hemrick right in front of the cage for the goal. After a Cobra's goal, Greg Griffo scored a man-down goal to even the score 2-2 with 3:36 left in the opening period. The score remained tied until the final seconds of the quarter when Ryan Maurer took advantage of a Spartan turnover deep in their own territory and converted the goal to give Coker 3-2 lead.

Tampa came out dominating the second quarter outscoring (6-0), outshooting (16-5), and winning five of six faceoffs over the Cobras. Matt Bilak netted the equalizer just over five minutes into the quarter . Minutes later Ryan Becker scored an unassisted goal to put the Spartans on top 4-3. Bilak and Brian Patton would follow with unassisted goals on back-to-back possessions to give the Spartans a 6-3 lead. After another goal, Jake Schmidt connected with McMahan for a man-up goal to give Tampa an 8-3 lead at the break.

The Spartans offense continued into the second half scoring six of the first seven goals of the third quarter to give Tampa a 14-4 lead. Patton and Drew Motschwiller each netted a goal on Tampa's first two possessions of the quarter. Minutes later Mike Tyrrell found Andrew Smith in transition for a goal. After a Cobra goal, Smith responded with his second goal of the game and his first multi-goal game of the season. Both teams would then score back-to-back goals giving Tampa a 14-6 lead after the third quarter.

Patton and Kevin Castle each found the back of the cage to start the fourth quarter and extend Tampa's lead to 16-6. After a Maurer's goal, Simon Ruppert found Jonathan Franzese in front of the cage for the goal and the 17-7 final.

Griffo and McMahan each tallied four points, while Patton netted three goals in the game. Trevor Calleja went 12-16 on faceoffs and picked up a team-high seven ground balls. Larry Gress led the defense with four caused turnovers and tallied two ground balls in the contest.

Tampa's goalie quartet of Joseph Fiorucci, Andrew Failla, Andrew Scott, and Tyler Hartmann combined for eight saves in the win.

The Spartans will return to action Tuesday, March 5, when they host Wingate in a Deep South Conference match up. Game time will be 7 p.m.
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