LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Southern College men’s lacrosse team began the 2020 season in grand fashion, beating visiting Molloy College in the season opener on Friday night, 18-8. Sean Nolan led the way with four goals and two assists, while Jeff Atlas added two goals and five assists.
The Mocs are receiving votes in Week 1 of the USILA Coaches Poll, and they showed why tonight.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• 1st Quarter | The Mocs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, with senior middie Skyler Sarkisian and senior attackman Joe Appio scoring in the first 3:46 of the contest. Molloy responded with a man-up goal, only to have Appio score his second goal of the game on a man-down situation at the 5:38 mark. From there, Southern seized momentum, scoring the final five goals of the quarter to take an 8-1 lead after one. Atlas accounted for two goals and three assists in the first quarter, sophomore attack Sean Nolan had two goals and two assists, while Appio had the two goals.
• 2nd Quarter | The Mocs scored the only three goals of the second quarter, as Nolan netted a pair and sophomore Ryan Gorecki scored his first goal of the season. The Mocs defense was outstanding, with sophomore goalie Maxwell Freestone making nine saves in the first half.
• 3rd Quarter | Senior midfielder Carson Wallace scored his second goal of the game to begin the third quarter, pushing the Mocs lead to 12-1.Molloy would answer with two consecutive goals, bringing the score to 12-3 after three.
• 4th Quarter | With the game clearly in hand, the Mocs ran the lead to 14-3 on goals from sophomore attackman Lucas Sommers and Appio. Molloy would score next, setting up senior faceoff specialist Gunther Lubonski. He would win the ensuing faceoff cleanly, streak straight to the cage, and score an unassisted goal just six seconds after the Molloy tally, shutting down any momentum for the Lions. Southern would eventually win the game, 18-8.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Possession is always key, and the Southern faceoff men were fantastic, winning 22 of the 30 faceoffs. Junior Kevin Horwitz won 16 of his 17 opportunities, including all 14 draws in the first half. Lubonski won 6 of his 13 facoffs.
• In goal, Freestone finished with 12 saves in 48:30 of game action. Freshman Chris Della Jacono made one save as well.
• In all, nine different players scored for FSC. Southern out-shot Molloy 48-26.
• Southern had nine assists on 18 goals tonight.
Southern travels to face No. 6 Belmont Abbey on February 15, before returning home to host four consecutive games, beginning with Tampa on February 22.