HICKORY, N.C. -- No. 5 Florida Southern finished their two-game trip to North Carolina with a 15-9 victory against Lenoir-Rhyne on Sunday.
With the win, the highly-ranked Moccasins improved their overall record to 11-1 as they continue their search for the first NCAA postseason appearance in the program's three year history. As for the Bears, their overall record drops to 7-5 on the year as they look to keep pace with Queens (N.C.) for the top spot in the South Atlantic Conference.
Junior Caitlin Chase assisted on the first goal of the game by junior Megan Asper 1 minute, 30 seconds into the contest, but Lenoir-Rhyne tied the game only 13 seconds later. Asper found the back of the net again off a pass from sophomore Meghan Colucci, but the Bears once again tied the game up with a goal at 24:29.
Chase's goal at 20:30 was the first of three unanswered goals for the Scarlet-and-White, two of which came off the stick of Asper, to put FSC up 5-2. Lenoir-Rhyne ended their scoring drought at 6:40 to pull to within two, but back-to-back Moccasin goals from redshirt freshman Allie Kryjak at 6:14 and Asper at 4:34 put the fifth ranked team in the country up 7-3. A Lenoir-Rhyne score with 1:45 proved to be the final goal of the half, as the Bears went into the break trailing by four.
Kryjak scored her second goal of the afternoon 2:22 into the second half, followed by a goal from junior Lorianne Hoover at 23:54, gave the Mocs a 9-4 lead early in the second stanza of play. Consecutive goals from the Bears at 18:32 and 18:15 brought the home team to within three, but Asper's sixth goal of the game and the first from sophomore Ashley Robertson gave Florida Southern a five-goal lead with 14:35 still to play in the game.
Following another Lenoir-Rhyne goal to put the score at 11-7, freshman Sarah Dibble got on the board with her first score and, with a pair of goals from Hoover, put the Moccasins up 14-7 with time running out for the host Bears. Back-to-back scores for Lenoir-Rhyne off free position shots brought them to within five, but Asper's seventh and final goal of the game with 49 seconds left guaranteed Florida Southern's 11th win of the season.
Asper's seven goals on nine shots was not only incredibly efficient by the junior captain, but it also broke her career-high of five goals previously set on March 24 in a 16-6 win over Fort Lewis. After setting her own career-mark against No. 13 Queens (N.C.) just two days prior, Hoover put three in the back of the net for the Mocs in the win. Chase set up six Moccasin goals to go along with her own score to contribute seven points on the afternoon.
The Parkton-native also pulled down six of the team's 15 draw controls and was 1-2 on free position shots. Sophomore Grace Donovan (Boise, Idaho) led the team in the ground ball department with five, and also caused a team-leading two turnovers in the win. Senior Katie Hammerer made 13 saves in the win to go along with her two ground balls and one caused turnover.
For the Bears, Lauren Donovan led the way with three goals and two assists for five points, while Kelsie Swanson netted two goals and tallied one assist for three points. Donovan also pulled down five draw controls, while Claire Wach scooped up eight ground balls and caused two turnovers for the Lenoir-Rhyne defense. Amanda Cotto took the loss, allowing nine goals and making eight saves in 36 minutes of action, while Ashley Gruning made four saves and allowed six goals in 23:54 of relief.