SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo University lacrosse team (2-1, 1-0) came out of the gate strong on the opening date of their Deep South Conference schedule, scoring the first five goals of the game en route 16-11 vicotry to hand Wingate University (0-4) their fourth loss of the young season, Tuesday night from University Field.
Kyle Marceau highlighted the night by scoring five goals, including three in the second quarter alone. Not to be outdone was midfielder Ryan Groat, as he scooped a career-high nine ground balls while seniors Mark Dargon and Ben Brigham added three goals and one assist apiece.
The Lions wasted no time in getting things started against Wingate goalkeeper Chad Watson, as SLU sprinted out to 5-0 lead before Wingate could find the back of the net midway through the first quarter.
Saint Leo managed to answer the call each time Wingate attempted a comeback, as well. After the initial Wingate tally, the Lions ripped off five of the next six goals, including a three-goal outburst by Marceau to make the score 10-2.
Wingate did try to build some momentum right before the half, as Angus Derbyshire compiled the third goal of the day for Bulldogs. Still, heading into the locker room, the Lions appeared to have the upper hand up 10-3.
Out of the break, the Wingate offense appeared to be shaking off the cob webs, scoring the first two goals of the quarter to cut into the SLU lead, 10-5. The two squads then traded the following four points to make the 12-6. The Bulldogs corralled their fourth goal of the half to make the score 12-7 at the end of the third quarter as Ryan Otterblad connected on the goal.
There was no holding back the Lions offense in the fourth quarter as they came out firing scoring the first three goals. Alex Monteferrante III opened up the scoring with a blast past the keeper , while Dargon and Marceau quickly followed suit to make the score 15-7 with 7:19 to play.
The bend but don’t break defense of SLU coninuted to its job, as the strong Lions’ defense held the Bulldogs scoreless for nearly the first 10 minutes of the quarter. Wingate did eventually score three goals in the quarter but not before the Lions gained a stranglehold on the lead.
Marceau closed the scoring on the day for Saint Leo with his fifth goal of the game.
David Erdman was brilliant in net for SLU making eight saves on the 19 shots faced.
The Lions as a team totaled 35 shots with 23 of them on goal. Wingate on the other hand finished with 31 total shots 19 of which were on net.
As dominant as the offense was for Saint Leo, the game was truly won on the ground as the Lions more than doubled the Bulldogs in ground balls scooped up. SLU managed to snag 51 ground balls compared to just 24 for Wingate.
The Lions can only enjoy the win for a few moments though as they head right back out to the field on Thursday, March 5 to take on Grand Canyon University from University Field. Face-off is set for 7:00 pm.