HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The No. 14 Florida Southern College men’s lacrosse team upended the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a 14-4 victory to open their 2023 campaign.
The Moccasins (1-0, 0-0 SSC) outscored the host Chargers (0-1, 0-0 GSC) ten-to-nothing over the span of the first two quarters, cruising to victory after the first-half shutout.
Sean Nolan, who led the Moccasins with 57 goals last season, began his year on a strong note, hitting the back of the net three times to provide the team with its offensive firepower. The hat trick marked Nolan’s 27th of his career which ties Dane Sorensen (2012-15) for the all-time FSC career hat tricks record.
Maxwell Freestone started the game in net for the team, stopping all seven shots he faced to propel Florida Southern to an early advantage that the Mocs would not relinquish. The fifth-year goalkeeper earned his 24th career win with the first-half effort.
Zac Fitzgerald tied his career-high with four caused turnovers while Nick Shannon paced the Mocs with five, one off of his career high.
The stout defensive effort made this the fewest goals that UAH has scored in a game since March 21, 2018 when they lost 14-4, and the fewest goals the team has scored at home since April 9, 2016, which was their inaugural season.
After a slew of opportunities, Andrew Medeiros started the scoring just under seven minutes into the game. After earning a second-chance possession from behind the cage, Medeiros used a crafty wrap-around move, finishing with a well-placed left-handed shot for the first goal of the year.
Just three minutes later, Aiden Hickey scored his first career goal on a feed from Nolan to bolster the early lead.
The Mocs poured it on in the final two minutes of the first quarter, with Jay Minor tallying with a shot from the right side to score his first of the year.
Freshman Nolan Tighe scored on a feed from Matt Flammenspeck with just under a minute left to play in the period to earn his first career goal, putting the Moccasins up 4-0.
Clayton Moench put the exclamation point on an impressive first quarter with a remarkable individual effort. The fourth-year midfielder earned possession near the restraining line before cutting straight to the cage, finishing a diving shot in the waning seconds of the period.
Medeiros scored his second goal of the game early in the second quarter to put the team up 6-0 on yet another deke that originated from behind the net.
Flammenspeck, the reigning SSC Freshman of the Year, tallied next for the Moccasins after finding space near the left wing to score his first of the season.
Nolan would score his first of three goals on the day with just over three minutes to play, putting the Moccasins up 8-0 late in the second quarter.
Lakeland native and transfer out of Lynn University, Kaleb Cook got on the board with a left-handed shot, ripping a well-placed feed from Flammenspeck to boost the Moccasin lead late in the half.
Just as they did to close the first quarter, the Mocs scored a buzzer-beater by the strength of an in-close goal from Tighe, his second of three goals on the day, putting the Mocs up double-digits at the half.
With Florida Southern leading 10-0 at the half, Michael Simone replaced Freestone in net for the Moccasins. Simone, in his third year with the team, stopped three shots after playing the majority of the second half.
Alabama-Huntsville showed signs of life in the second half, ending the shutout bid with a pair of strikes in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Nolan and Cook each scored just moments later to end any hopes of a comeback, rebuilding the ten-goal lead.
Nolan’s goal was assisted by Griffin Phillips, who notched his sixth career assist.
He would tack on yet another late-quarter goal with an unassisted goal, earning his 27th career hat trick. With the feat, he’s now tied with the most hat tricks in Moccasin history along with Dane Sorenson, who played from 2012-2015.
The teams would trade goals in the final frame, with Tighe scoring again to record a hat trick in his collegiate debut.
With the 14-4 victory, the Moccasins moved to 1-0 on the season behind a dominant defensive effort.
It will be a quick turn-around for the Moccasins, who travel to Montevallo on Sunday afternoon for a road matchup at 1 p.m.
|08:10||FSC – Andrew Medeiros||1||0|
|05:06||FSC – Aiden Hickey Assisted by Sean Nolan||2||0|
|01:41||FSC – Jay Minor||3||0|
|00:49||FSC – Nolan Tighe Assisted by Matt Flammenspeck||4||0|
|00:03||FSC – Clayton Moench||5||0|
|11:03||FSC – Andrew Medeiros||6||0|
|07:24||FSC – Matt Flammenspeck||7||0|
|03:05||FSC – Sean Nolan Assisted by Andrew Medeiros||8||0|
|02:10||FSC – Kaleb Cook Assisted by Matt Flammenspeck||9||0|
|00:02||FSC – Nolan Tighe||10||0|
|13:28||UAH – Reid Vender Assisted by Brody Phillips||10||1|
|10:12||UAH – Ian Arnt Assisted by Brody Phillips||10||2|
|05:34||FSC – Sean Nolan Assisted by Griffin Phillips||11||2|
|04:14||FSC – Kaleb Cook||12||2|
|02:20||UAH – Greyson Stevens Assisted by Pete Fabrizio||12||3|
|00:05||FSC – Sean Nolan||13||3|
|14:27||FSC – Nolan Tighe||14||3|
|03:59||UAH – Trevor Redmond Assisted by Brody Phillips||14||4|