SAINT LEO, Fla. – In a season devoid of many nail biters on their home turf, the Saint Leo lacrosse team made up for it in thrilling fashion in their final home game of 2010 as they defeated Florida Southern 10-9 in the semifinal round of the Deep South Conference Tournament at a rowdy University Field on Thursday night.
In one of the hardest hitting and most physical games of the season, the Lions opened the game with two quick goals from Cole Seija and George Proechel, who scored just 90 seconds apart to put the Lions on the board.
The visiting Mocs would follow with two goals of their own as they quickly tied the game and set the tone for the remainder.
Answering every Saint Leo goal with one of its own, the Moccasins kept the score tied into the second quarter but would never be able to get the goal to put them ahead.
Opening up a two-goal margin late in the second quarter, the Lions would look to take a 6-4 lead into halftime, but Florida Southern managed to sneak in a Cam Holding goal as time expired to cut the margin to just one goal as the teams broke for the half.
That scenario would repeat itself again in the final moments of the third quarter. After a quarter where SLU outscored FSC 3-1, the visitors pushed one final shot toward the goal as the horn sounded. The Jordan Manger shot would find the back of the net to cut the SLU lead to just 9-7 heading into the final stanza.
Keeping the quarter scoreless through the first eight minutes, the Mocs would cut it to one as they punched in an extra-man chance with less than seven minutes left.
The Lions would answer with a Kyle Marceau tally with 4:30 left followed by another Southern answer to put the margin at 10-9.
At that point, the Lions’ defense would step up, making three big saves down the stretch, including a David Erdman point-blank save in the final minute to solidify the Lions victory.
Saint Leo would get three goals from George Proechel and Cole Seija as the Lions moved on to the Championship Game.
Face-off specialist Mike Del Buono would go 14-of-20 in face-offs and pick up 10 ground balls.
Saint Leo will now head to Salisbury, N.C. as they face DSC North Region representative Catawba College, who upset top-seed Mars Hill 9-6. The Lions and Indians will get the Championship Game underway on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.