Spartans Roll Up Their Sleeves and Take Care of Catawba, 17-10

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's lacrosse team scored four first quarter goal to propel them to a 17-10 win over Catawba, Saturday afternoon at Pepin Stadium. With the win, Tampa improves to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the Deep South Conference, while Catawba falls to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

Tampa struck first as Brian Patton's shot found the top corner of the cage to put the Spartans ahead 1-0. After an Indians goal, Greg Griffo found Patton for his second goal of the game and put Tampa ahead 2-1 with 8:55 left in the first quarter. Minutes later Drew Motschwiller and Ryan Becker scored back-to-back goals to extend Tampa's lead to 4-1 after the opening period.

Catawba scored three goals in the first four minutes of the second quarter to tie the game 4-4. The Spartans rallied as Kyle Hemrick bounced a shot past the goalie to put Tampa ahead 5-4 with 8:31 left the half. Nick Ferreiro won the next faceoff and on the ensuing possession Ferreiro scored an unassisted goal. Tampa followed with three unanswered goals, including two from Griffo, to extend their lead to 9-4 with 38 seconds left in the half. Catawba's John Scheich found the back of the cage just before the half to cut Tampa's lead to 9-5 at the break.

The Indians started the second half scoring three unanswered goals and cut Tampa's lead to 9-8 with 5:17 remaining. Minutes later, Eric Dance caused a Catawba turnover, drove the ball up the field, and connected with Jon McGowan for the goal. In the closing seconds of the quarter Ferreiro dodged towards the cage and netted his second goal of the game to extend the Spartans lead to 11-8.

Tampa scored four straight goals to begin the fourth quarter, including Conner Kennedy scoring his first collegiate goal. After an Indian's goal Blake Pfohl scored an unassisted goal to put Tampa ahead 16-9. Both teams would score once more for the 17-10 final.

Patton led the Spartans with three goals and five points, while Hemrick and Griffo each netted two goals. Matt Bilak dished out two assists in the contest. Trevor Calleja went 16-20 on faceoff, including 6-6 in the first quarter, and picked up eight ground balls.

Larry Gress and Marty Heyn combined for four caused turnovers and six ground balls. Joseph Fiorucci made seven saves in the cage and improved his record to 5-2.

The Spartans will return to action Wednesday, March 13, when they to travel to New York to face sixth-ranked New York Institute of Technology. Game time will be 4 p.m.

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