MARS HILL, N.C. -- Catawba withheld a late rally by Florida Southern to claim the 2012 Deep South championship with a 7-6 victory against the Moccasins on Sunday afternoon at Meares Stadium. Catawba wins the DSC tournament for the second consecutive year and improve to 14-2.  The Moccasins, who also lost to Catawba in last year's final, fall to 10-6.

Catawba grabbed the early lead, scoring the first two goals. Tom Cullop scored the opening goal at the 11:25 mark on an assist from Braden Artem. Artem scored himself midway through the quarter for the 2-0 lead.

Florida Southern cut the margin in half with just four minutes to go in the opening quarter on a tally by Chris Murphy. The Indians would lead 2-1 after the first 15 minutes.

A goal from Catawba's Freddie Turcio and one from the Moccasins' Dane Sorensen kept the teams separated by a goal midway through the second quarter. Cullop notched his second of the game with 2:33 remaining in the half to give the Indians a 4-2 edge at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, Sorensen again pulled Florida Southern within a goal on his second score of the game. Catawba answered on a goal by John Scheich then went up 6-3 on a second tally from Artem at the 3:36 mark of the third.

Catawba led 7-4 after a goal from Cory Losselyong with 11:18 left, but FSC rallied late to again close within a goal.  Brendan Mykle-Winkler scored with 3:52 remaining and Mat Thompson (Akwesasne, Ontario, CANADA/Herkimer CC) made it 7-6 with 2:15 to go.

Cullop nearly sealed it for Catawba, but his shot with just under a minute left hit the post and gave FSC one final chance.  Shane Tompkins’ (Bear, DE/Penn HS) shot with nine seconds left was wide and Turcio caused a turnover in side the final five seconds to give Catawba the win.

Artem and Cullop each scored a pair of goals for Catawba.  Sorensen had two goals for Florida Southern. The Moccasins held a 40-30 edge in shots, including a 23-9 edge in the second half.  Michael Pecchia, who was named the MVP of the tournament, posted 17 saves for Catawba. Andrew Almansberger stopped 13 shots for Florida Southern.