via the school’s press releases
SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo Lions topped Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) 13-9 on a rainy Tuesday afternoon at University Turf Stadium. The Green and Gold’s five-goal third quarter was enough to carry the Lions over the Sailfish in order to return to their winning ways.
Ryan Marek earned a hat trick as the Lions’ leading scorer against the Sailfish helped by Tyler Eames who tallied four points with a goal and three assists. Matt Shand scored two goals and an assist, recording and surpassing his 100th point career milestone. The graduate student from Whitby, Ontario has compiled a career 101 points scoring 46 goals and registering 55 assists.
Jack Spera also had a monumental career day as the graduate student from Hauppauge, N.Y. passed his former teammate Eric Lee. Lee had previously held the program’s fourth-highest caused turnover career record. Lee caused chaos for opponents during the 2016-2019 seasons, tallying 36 caused turnovers for the Lions. Spera’s pair of caused turnovers against Palm Beach Atlantic notched his 37th career CT, his eighth on the shortened 2021 season.
Jordan Williams had a day at the X winning 16-of-24 faceoffs. The senior faceoff specialist also picked up five ground balls and earned an assist.
Gunnar Luckoski had another great showing in the cage with 12 stops after facing 40 shots, 21 of which were placed on target.
Palm Beach Atlantic: 6-0, 5-0 SSC
Saint Leo: 3-3, 3-2 SSC
How it Happened
Five different Lions combined for a three-goal run to open the second quarter which lifted Saint Leo 4-1 over PBA. After the Sailfish tallied a pair of goals, Saint Leo got on the board one more time in order to hold a two-goal lead at the half, 5-3.
Coming out of the halftime break, Saint Leo generated a four-goal run to record the largest gap of the game at 9-3 at 8:05. Both teams exchanged goals allowing the Lions to maintain a six-goal advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Palm Beach Atlantic outscored Saint Leo 5-3 in the fourth, which wouldn’t be enough to upset the Lions. The Green and Gold handed in a 13-9 win at home before a two-game road stretch.
Saint Leo and Palm Beach Atlantic are not done. The series between the programs will continue in less than 48 hours. The teams are scheduled to meet again on Thursday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. in West Palm Beach, Fla.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men’s lacrosse team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
ST. LEO, Fla. – The Palm Beach Atlantic men’s lacrosse team returned to action today on the road against Saint Leo Lions. The two sides are scheduled to face each other twice in a three-day stretch in a home and home series. The Lions got the best of the Sailfish today 13-9, in round one as a late Sailfish comeback ran out of time.
The Sailfish jumped out to the early lead as Jonah Robertson scored the opening goal for the Sailfish at the 12:16 mark of the first quarter. The Sailfish defense was solid early on as they were able to hold the narrow lead for much of the first quarter and the Sailfish outshot Saint Leo 10-9 in the opening 15 minutes. The Lions equalized at the 1:09 mark of the first to start a 4-0 scoring run that would extend into the second quarter.
The Lions scored three goals in the opening three minutes of the second quarter as they had their way in the faceoff circle, winning eight of the first ten. Ben Justice and Zack Figura scored back to back at the 8:20 and 6:38 marks to stop the Saint Leo run and bring the Sailfish back within a goal. Garrit Kurtycz did his best in the PBA net to keep the Sailfish in the game as he made eight saves in the second quarter, but the Lions would add on one more goal before the half and lead 5-3. After outshooting the Lions in the first quarter, the Sailfish were outshot on goal 15-6 in the opening half.
The Sailfish defense wore down in the second half as the Lions would go on to score four goals over a three-minute stretch in the third quarter to take control of the game. The Sailfish offense got going late as Austin Evans would go on to score a goal at the end of the third and two more to start the fourth quarter as PBA cut the lead to 11-6. After surrendering a goal, Hunter Hopman, Zack Figura, and Evans would score three straight for the Sailfish to cut the lead to 12-9 with 3:30 remaining. The Sailfish comeback came behind faceoff success from Noah McKoeun and Corbin Schneider who combined to win seven second-half faceoffs. Kurtycz made eight of his 18 saves in the second half but the Sailfish ran out of time as the Lions added one goal late to win 13-9.
The Sailfish were outshot 31-21 in shots on goals for the game and each side committed 20 turnovers during the game. Defensively Gunner Gebelein led the Sailfish with a game-high eight ground balls and four caused turnovers. Austin Evans led PBA with four goals, all in the second half, as five different Sailfish players scored.
The Sailfish drop to 0-6 on the season against all SSC competition. They will have a second chance against the Lions on Thursday when they host Saint Leo at the RAC at 5:30 pm.