SAINT LEO, Fla. – In one of the more unusual results of the 2010 NCAA Lacrosse season, the Saint Leo lacrosse team turned a 9-2 halftime lead into a 9-7 victory as they did not score a single time in the second half and held off a furious Mars Hill rally for the Deep South Conference win on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at University Field.
The SLU Lions flew out of the gates in the opening quarter as they outscored the visiting MHC Lions 5-1. Saint Leo (8-1, 3-0) spun the scoreboard first when they picked up a ground ball in transition and saw freshman George Proechel race through the Mars Hill defense and zipped his shot past the MHC goalie for the Lions’ first tally.
Mars Hill (5-3, 2-1 DSC) knotted the game just two minutes later when Danny Farmer deposited a shot behind SLU goalie David Erdman after catching a pass in-stride from TJ Cowx.
With momentum up-for grabs, SLU Lions’ attackman Cole Seija picked up an errant Saint Leo shot and flipped it into the goal to put the good guys back on top.
That goal seemed to jump-start the SLU offense as the finished the quarter scoring three goals, all from different players, in the final five minutes of the period.
The second quarter was nearly a carbon-copy of the first as Saint Leo managed to outscore the visitors from North Carolina 4-1 in that stanza to take a 9-2 lead into the halftime break.
It turned out to be an entirely different second-half as the Lions’ offense was completely shut down in the final half-hour. It would be up to the SLU Lions’ defense to earn them the win, and they were up to the challenge.
Momentum swung all the way to the visitor’s side as Mars Hill would cut the lead to 9-6 at the end of the third.
Heading into the fourth with a stagnant offense, Erdman, the reigning national player of the week, along with the other members of the SLU defense, proved their worth as they kept the MHC Lions to just one goal and held them to four shots during the period.
It would prove to be an outstanding defensive showing through the final quarter as Mars Hill had put themselves in a position to complete the comeback.
Erdman would finish the game with 13 saves while allowing seven goals.
Senior Kyle Marceau would lead the Lions’ first-half scoring with three goals and Proechel, along with Luke Baruch would end the game with two-goals each.
Mars Hill goalie Dylan Price would prove to be the star for the visitors as he stopped 18 SLU shots and kept the Green & Gold scoreless throughout the second half.
Saint Leo will now take a break from conference play as they host Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday night. The Lions and Penmen will square off at 7:00 p.m. at University Field on the Saint Leo campus.