TAMPA, Fla. -- No. 7 Tampa used a balanced scoring attack Saturday to defeat No. 10 Lake Erie 19-8 and remain unbeaten.
The Storm struck first, scoring just over two minutes in. Minutes later, Larry Gress found Conor Whipple in front of the cage for a goal to tie the game at 1. Justin Fitzpatrick picked up the ground ball of the ensuing faceoff and Whipple for his second goal of the game. Nick Ferreiro added an unassisted goal to extend the Spartans lead to 3-1 with 6:54 left in the first quarter. Then the Spartans took advantage of a Lake Erie penalty as Whipple connected with Jake Rooney for the man-up goal. The Storm scored one more time to cut the lead to 4-2 after the first period.
The score remained that way until the 8:14 mark of the second quarter when Matt Bilak scored a man-up goal to extend Tampa’s lead to 5-2. Nick Ferreiro won the ensuing faceoff and found Whipple for a goal five seconds later. After a Storm goal, Mike Morris made a behind the back pass to Rooney who netted the goal. Lake Erie netted a goal, before Whipple scored his fourth goal of the game on a behind the back shot. The Spartans scored twice more before the half to extend their lead to 10-4 at the break.
Lake Erie took advantage of a Spartans penalty as Reagan Harding scored a man-up goal. The Spartans responded as Morris and Chance Smith scored back-to-back goals to give Tampa a 12-5 lead. After back-to-back goals by the Storm, Matt Bilak put a bounce shot into the back of the cage. Two minutes later Ferreiro scored an unassisted goal to give Tampa the 14-7 advantage after three quarters of play.
Justin Fitzpatrick, Rooney, and Parker Snure each netted a goal to start the fourth quarter and extend the Spartans lead to 17-7 with 9:12 remaining. After the two teams traded goals, James Lopilato scored a man-up goal for the 19-8 final.