LAKELAND, Fla. -- Florida Southern jumped out to an early lead against No. 10 Lake Erie in the first quarter and needed every last score as the Moccasins survived a furious comeback to upset the Storm 12-10 at Bryant Stadium.
The win improves the Mocs' overall record to 2-2 on the season, while the visiting Storm drop to 0-1 with tonight's loss. The game was the season opener for 10th-ranked Lake Erie, who conclude their Florida road trip on Sunday against No. 7 Tampa (4-0, 0-0).
Lake Erie scored the game's first goal at 10:46, but it was all Florida Southern after that as the Mocs scored the next nine goals of the first quarter. Fresh off his five-goal performance against Rollins this past Saturday, freshman Grant VanOverbeke tied the score at 1-1 at 9:57.
Junior Dane Sorensen scored a minute later off a pass from VanOverbeke on an extra-man opportunity to go up 2-1. Freshman Andrew Fisher connected with sophomore Matt Boutin for the Mocs' third goal of the game, while VanOverbeke connected with fellow freshman Cody Dyer on an EMO to put Florida Southern up 4-1.
Sorensen proved to be the main force for the Mocs in the first quarter as the next four goals came from his stick, with Boutin, senior Shane Tompkins and sophomore Tyler Novak assisting on three of his four goals, two of them in man-up situations. VanOverbeke scored his second goal of the contest with 15 seconds off a pass from Fisher to put the Mocs up 9-1 going into the next quarter.
Tompkins assisted a Dyer goal to put FSC up 10-1 and making it look like the rout was on, but Lake Erie had other ideas. Four unanswered goals by the Storm cut Florida Southern's lead to 10-5 before VanOverbeke put one in the back of the net with less than a second to go to give the Mocs an 11-6 lead going into halftime.
The Storm came out the break firing, scoring the first four goals of the third quarter to pull to within two of the Mocs' once comfortable lead. Inside Lacrosse Preseason First-Team All American Reagan Harding, held in check for the entire first half, was responsible for two goals and an assist in the third quarter of play.
Moccasin senior Chris Murphy ripped a shot past the Lake Erie goalkeeper with nine seconds left in the quarter to put them up 12-9 going into the final 15 minutes of play.
Lake Erie cut the lead to two with a man-up goal at 7:29 of the fourth quarter, but the Moccasin defense and freshman Matt Lalli kept the Storm off the board for the rest of the game to preserve the upset victory.
Sorensen tied a career-high in goals with five, a high he previously set against Rollins this past Saturday. VanOverbeke, named SSC Offensive Player of the Week for the week of February 24, scored three goals and dished out two assists for five points. Fisher, Tompkins and VanOverbeke each tallied two of Florida Southern's nine assists in the win.
Senior Dan Krispinsky went 19-24 from the faceoff X, while sophomore Tyler Novak was a ground ball vacuum tonight, scooping up nine ground balls for the Moccasins. Lalli made 12 saves in the win, with seven stops coming in the second half and five alone in the fourth quarter.
The Storm outshot FSC 42-28, including averaging 12 shots from the second quarter on, and caused the Mocs into committing 15 turnover while only giving the ball away nine times. However, Florida Southern scooped up 30 ground balls to Lake Erie's 23, and scored on five man-up opportunities to three for the Storm.
Mitchell Shafer led the Storm in scoring with three goals, while Harding scored twice and tallied two assists for four points on the evening. Nicholas Simonetti made seven saves in relief appearance after Tom Lipomi was chased out of the game after giving up eight goals in less than 12 minutes of action.