SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's lacrosse team took down No. 19 Florida Tech, 13-8, to earn their first Sunshine State Conference win of the season on Saturday afternoon.
Saint Leo jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and despite best efforts by the national-ranked Panthers, the Lions were able to maintain the lead and take the game.
The Lions' defense stepped up big time as keeper Thomas Tatarian finished with a career-high 20 saves while adding a career-high seven ground balls. Defender Jake Bye had himself a day, scoring a career-high two goals, adding five groundballs, and a caused turnover.
The Basics Saint Leo took down No. 19 Florida Tech, 13-8 Location: Saint Leo, Fla. | University Turf Stadium Records: Saint Leo 9-3, 1-2 SSC | No. 19 Florida Tech 6-5, 2-1 SSC
How it happened 1Q | Saint Leo opened up on a 3-0 run as Josh Kaufling ripped an unassisted score. It was followed by an outside score from Bruce Preeschl off the Zach Lysyk assist. The duo of Kyle Pauwels and Jake Gilmour teamed up as Gilmour found Pauwels for the third goal for the Lions. In the final five minutes, the Panther tacked on two goals, including a man-up goal with a minute remaining. Anthony Visintin gave the two-goal lead back to the Lions on an unassisted rip with 30 seconds left in the half. Florida Tech's keeper made seven saves in the period, while Thomas Tatarian recorded four of his own. | Saint Leo 4-2
2Q | Florida Tech cut the lead back to one, but an outstanding play by Jake Bye extended the Lions lead. Bye took the ball from the Lions box and looked to pull up to register the clear. But when the FIT defenders didn't come and guard him, the Lions' defender ran straight towards the goal and tallied the score. The Lions were able to add another as Matt Scharr found a spinning Zach Lysyk to record another goal. With 3:25 on the clock, Eric Lee completed the clear and found Jake Gilmour. Gilmour added an unassisted goal off a roll dodge before the Panthers added a man-up goal with 2:22 left in the half. Charlie Kurtenbach found Gilmour for a man-up goal in favor of the Lions with a 1:24 left to play. However, an offensive flurry by the Panthers scored three goals in the final 30 seconds of the half to make it a one-goal game. | Saint Leo 8-7
3Q | The third quarter was quiet as the lone goal came in a man-up situation for the Lions as Gilmour found Kurtenbach for the rip with just 19 seconds left in the period. Saint Leo won both faces in the period, and Tatarian made five saves. | Saint Leo 9-7
4Q | Florida Tech cut it to 9-8 with 10:08 on the clock, but a Kurtenbach scored off a Pauwels pass at 6:32. Following a timeout, Josh Kaufling, who was placed roughly 35 yards from the cage with the ball, noticed the Panthers keeper had stepped out to defend one of the Lions. Kaufling ripped the shot and sunk it right in the back of the net. Two minutes later, Kaufling found the pass from Scharr to complete his hat trick. The dagger of the game came from Bye. Bye tallied his second goal of the game with 2:39 left in the game. He snagged a pass off the Panthers attack and completed the clear himself. His second goal was almost an exact duplicate of his first, as he looked to pass off to his attackmen, but when no one came to cover, Bye darted straight for the cage and registered the score. Tatarian finished with six saves in the final period. | Saint Leo 13-8
Points to note
Kyle Pauwels is up to 54 points this season with 45 goals and nine assists. Jake Gilmour is up to 58 points this season with 27 goals and 31 assists. Both are on the brink of season records. The single season record is 62 points, while the single season goals record is 50, and single season assists record is 34.
Charlie Kurtenbach finished with two goals; one assist, seven ground balls and one caused turnover.
There were 19 penalties in the game.
Up Next Saint Leo hits the road to take on Lynn on Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m. in Boca Raton.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo Men's Lacrosse be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.