SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's lacrosse team fought an all-out battle to the very end on Sunday afternoon against fourth-ranked Limestone, but fell to the Saints 7-5 after a late Limestone surge in the fourth quarter. The win puts Saint Leo at a mark of 0-2 on the young season, while the nationally ranked Saints advance their mark to 2-0.
Leading the Lions in goals on the afternoon was sophomore Tom Horn with two. Matt Obermeyer, Michael Mastracchio, and Connor McBride score one each, with Obermeyer, Ryan Burke, and Kevin Hutchinson earning one assist apiece.
Riley Loewen's hat trick for Limestone was a game high, while his teammate matched him in assists with three.
Freshman Dave Moore saw a full 60 minutes in cage for the Lions, earning 15 saves while seeing 41 shots and 22 shots on frame. His opposition for the Saints, Christian Dzwilewski set aside 11 shots while facing 16 shots on target and seeing 29 overall shots from the Lions.
A composed Saint Leo squad came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, holding Limestone to just one goal in the first quarter and utilizing their time with the ball wisely. The Saints put the first point on the scoreboard with 8:30 left in the quarter thanks to a goal from Vinny Ricci off of a Corey Rich assist.
The second stanza saw a flurry of action late in the period in favor of the Lions. Obermeyer got things started with a goal off of a feed from Horn with 6:02 to go before the half, and the duo swapped roles with 2:06 remaining before the break on an extra-man opportunity to give the Lions their first lead of the game, 2-1.
Saint Leo held onto their advantage going into the break, but the third quarter opened up with a goal from Loewen to knot the score at 2-2 with 10:30 on the clock. Limestone struck again to take the lead, 3-2, but a goal from McBride off of an assist from Burke pulled Saint Leo even with the Saints at 3-3 with 2:49 remaining in the quarter.
As the time counted down towards the end of the third period, Saint Leo found themselves with possession in the final seconds, and a shot ripped from long range by Mastracchio with 0.07 seconds left gave Saint Leo the 4-3 lead entering into the final quarter.
Limestone came out of the break collected, and rattled off four consecutive goals to pull ahead 7-4. The Lions were unable to capitalize on their attacking efforts throughout the fourth quarter until 14 seconds remained, when Horn was able to place a shot between the pipes to give the Lions their only goal of the period.
Saint Leo led the game in saves, 15-11. Limestone won the ground ball battle 36-24, and dominated the shot count 41-29. The Lions were successful on 17-of-22 clear attempts, but couldn't find success on the faceoff, winning just 5-of-15 attempts.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, February 23, when they host cross town rival University of Tampa at 7 p.m. Fans who cannot make it to the game can catch all of the action live on the Saint Leo Sports Network at SaintLeoLions.com. For the latest news, updates, and information, fans can 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.