Sailfish Fall to FGCU, Clinch Share of Division Championship

Sailfish Fall to FGCU, Clinch Share of Division Championship

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. –– With a staggering nine man-up goals, Florida Gulf Coast took a 13-9 victory and the top seed for the SELC South in the conference tournament later this month. Leading the way for Palm Beach Atlantic (9-5) was senior attackman Joe Ciringione Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) with one goal and three assists.

As both teams proceeded through the "feeling out" phase, PBA struck first on an unassisted goal from Bobby Hantske (Annapolis, Md./Southern). Hantske finished with three points (two goals, one assist). Following a goal by Florida Gulf Coast (10-2), the Sailfish answered, before the Eagles answered right back. At the end of the first, the score was tied at 2 apiece.

In the second, FGCU went man-up on an illegal stick penalty and stung the Sailfish for three goals, en route to an 8-3 lead––a lead which they held into halftime. In the second half, Palm Beach Atlantic went on a five goal run, led by midfielder Dave Schultz (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's), who finished with two goals and one assist. Schultz picked up thirteen ground balls and twelve face-offs in the effort.

Also scoring during the run were Dennis Koleda (Huntington, N.Y./Harborfields), who finished with two goals, and Dan Barry (Whitesboro, N.Y./Whitesboro). Despite tying the game at 8-8, a series of penalties damaged the Sailfish effort and ultimately contributed to the loss. In total, there were 26 minutes and 30 seconds of penalties in the game.

With the loss, Palm Beach Atlantic finishes in a three-way tie for first place in the SELC South Division. This is Palm Beach Atlantic's second co-championship in program history. Accordingly, FGCU assumes the number one position in the southern half of the SELC tournament by way of a goals-allowed tiebreaker. Because of their head-to-head victory over No. 8 SCAD, Palm Beach Atlantic clinches the No. 2 seed. In addition, Palm Beach Atlantic is set to face No. 19 Kennesaw State in the first round of the playoffs on Friday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m. The location is to be determined.

In the meantime, your Sailfish return to action this Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. for a South Florida rivalry game against the University of Miami (1-11). Palm Beach Atlantic has never defeated Miami in its' program history. Follow Palm Beach Atlantic men's lacrosse on Twitter (@PBALacrosse) for more details and live-score updates of the remaining games this season.

Game Notes:
–Palm Beach Atlantic is now 3-1 all-time versus Florida Gulf Coast University following the 13-9 loss. PBA won last season's meeting by a score of 13-10.
–PBA was last ranked in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse MCLA Coaches Poll on March 2, 2009 (No. 21 overall). The Sailfish are currently ranked No. 15 in the LaxPower MCLA Division II Computer Ratings.
–Palm Beach Atlantic slides to 9-5 after the loss, breaking the longest winning streak in program history (five).
–Senior attackman Joe Ciringione leads all Sailfish in points scored with seventy-nine (79). Sophomore attackman Colin Price leads in goals scored with forty-five (45).
–Palm Beach Atlantic finished 16/23 on clears (69.5%).
–Palm Beach Atlantic finished 15/25 on face-offs (60%).
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