MELBOURNE, Fla. – Opening their 2012 slate on a high note, the Saint Leo men's lacrosse team hustled their way to a 15-4 victory over Deep South Conference newcomer Florida Tech, on Tuesday night at Hustler Stadium in Melbourne, Fla. With the win, the Lions kick off the season with a mark of 1-0, and 1-0 in DSC action, while the first-year Panthers open their campaign at 0-1, and 0-1 in the DSC.
Leading the way for the Green and Gold was George Proechel with four goals and an assist to open his junior season. The Orlando, Fla. native was followed by Tom Horn and Ray Ferrara with a hat trick apiece, while Horn added an assist to his tally for four points on the night. Robert Hutchinson notched two goals and an assist, while Ryan Burke and Larry McLaughlin found the back of the net once each. Stepping out in their first game of their collegiate careers, Alex Raucci and Chris Caiazza notched a goal and an assist, respectively.
Between the pipes, Patrick Berry earned 10 saves on the night while allowing two goals in 51 minutes of action in cage. Joe May finished out the contest, earning two saves while allowing two shots in net. Their counterpart for the Panthers, Mason Cook, set aside 14 shots while yielding 15.
The Panthers saw scoring from Patrick Manning, Christian Isola, Andrew Conely, and Danny Channell who each placed the ball between the pipes once. Mike Marshner and Billy McClellan dished out assists for FIT in the program's historic first game.
It was a slow start for the Lions, who found themselves in a 2-0 hole after the first quarter of action. But Saint Leo came out of the break and sprinted through the second period, shutting out their opponent while they scored six straight to enter into the half with a 6-2 advantage.
Saint Leo continued their success through the third quarter, outscoring Florida Tech 5-0 to extend their lead to 11-2. The fourth quarter saw the Lions tack three more before the Panthers could capitalize on an offensive opportunity, setting the score at 14-3 with 6:59 remaining in the game. One more goal from each team sealed the deal on the night, as the Lions walked away with a 15-4 season opening win on the road.
The Green and Gold led the shot count 49-27, and stifled their opponent on the ground ball battle, 44-19. Saint Leo found success on 29-of-32 clear attempts, and were 12-for-23 on faceoff wins. The Lions found the back of the net on 50 percent of their man up opportunities, while the defensive line held the Panthers silent in extra-man opportunities.
The Lions return to action when they travel to Catawba on Thursday, February 23. Saint Leo squares off against the reigning Deep South Conference Champions at 4 p.m. For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's lacrosse team, visit saintleolions.com.