SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men’s lacrosse team (6-7) earned the opportunity to play Florida Southern in the Deep South Lacrosse Tournament Semifinal’s as they downed the Rollins College Tars (2-11), 16-7, Tuesday night from University Field in DSC Tournament action.
Dustin Goss paced the Lions with a team-best five goals, while Rob Van Bomel slotted three additional tallies. George Proechel collected a five-point night as he struck for two goals in addition to a team-high three assists. Senior Evan Mill concluded the evening with two goals of his own.
Playing to a 4-4 tie one minute into the second quarter, the Lions rallied-off 12 of the 15 final goals of the game to secure a spot in the south region championship.
Opening the game, the Lions faced early adversity as Rollins found the back of the net 1:02 into the game. However, three unanswered Lions’ goals soon found the No.2 seeded team opening a 3-1 lead.
Dustin Goss buried the first of the Lions’ tallies as Tom Horn’s pass in front of the cage allowed Saint Leo to get crack the scoreboard. Less than a minute later, Van Bomel put SLU in front as he connected on his 10th and 11th goals of the season.
Shortly after Rollins cut the deficit to one, Goss rocketed his second of the game to put Saint Leo up 4-2. Still, the high scoring first quarter saw Rollins’ James Labutti put the score at 4-3 as they entered the second quarter.
The two teams continued to struggle for the upper hand in the second quarter, but Rollins did manage to briefly tie the game at four apiece when Ben Adrian scored.
Answering the challenge, the Lions roared for two goals in a one minute span. Goss blasted home an unassisted third goal and Mills collapsed the back of the cage with his first of the game.
Nonetheless, Rollins withstood the charge and placed one more on the board with less than 15 seconds to go half to pull the score within one, 6-5.
The game and momentum completely swung towards the home standing Lions in the third as they exploded for six goals.
Scoring five straight times in the pivotal third quarter, Goss led a group of five different goal scorers as he rocketed a pair of shots past the Tars’ ‘keeper.
With the game well in hand entering the fourth, the Saint Leo offense did not quit as Proechel and Horngave the team a game-high, eight-goal advantage. Rollins dented the scoreboard one more time before Connor McBride and Mills closed out the win.
Defensively, over the final two periods, Saint Leo allowed just two goals to Rollins.
In cage, Patrick Berry claimed the win as he made six saves en route to his fifth victory of the season.
Overall, the Lions outshot the Tars, 43-30, while collecting 37 ground balls. Saint Leo made good on 21-of-24 clear attempts and won 15-of-27 faceoff’s.
Up next, the Lions will face Florida Southern in Deep South Lacrosse Semifinal action. The Thursday night contest is set for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff from Bryant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.