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Head Coach Marty Ward Picks up 100th Career Win with Victory over Westminster

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in , , , .

via FSC press release/website


LAKELAND, Fla. – The No. 16 Florida Southern College men’s lacrosse team defeated Westminster College by a final score of 14-9 on Sunday afternoon at Berend Field.

With the win, Head Coach Marty Ward earned his 100th career victory as the bench boss with the Moccasins winning their sixth-straight game in the process.

The Mocs (8-2, 1-0 SSC) downed the visiting Griffins (3-5, 0-0 RMAC) behind a dominant defensive performance across the final three quarters.

Junior Michael Simone started the game in net for the Moccasins, making ten saves and earning his sixth win of the season. He was also instrumental in clears, doing his part to help the team successfully clear the ball on 23 of 25 attempts while also keeping the Griffins at bay, who only completed 24 of 33 clear attempts.

Defensively, Florida Southern saw standout performances from the one of the country’s best starting units. The team came into the contest averaging nearly 16 caused turnovers per game, good for first in all of Division II. Today, the Mocs were credited with 21 total caused turnovers to disrupt a usually very efficient Westminster offense.

Senior Nick Shannon led the charge with seven ground balls and six caused turnovers, setting a new career high in ground balls and matching his record with the six caused turnovers. Shannon will continue to lead the country individually, as he now averages over three caused turnovers per game, again good for first in all of Division II.

Fellow senior defenseman Zac Fitzgerald also tied his career highs, raking in five ground balls while forcing four caused turnovers in his own end. The two were flanked by Ian Wallace, who was a force as well, notching a pair of ground balls and caused turnovers.

Long-stick midfielder Dayne Scoblick was particularly impactful as well, setting a new career high with four ground balls and notably providing a spark of energy in the first half to help set the tone for what ended up being an extremely competitive and gritty contest.

The Griffins opened the scoring with a pair of early goals, but Florida Southern roared back with four consecutive tallies to take the lead in the first quarter. Midfielders Jay Minor and Lucas Sommers scored in the same minute before Sean Nolan and Nolan Tighe both hit the back of the net to give the Mocs a 4-2 lead just over five minutes into the game.

The Griffins would close the gap and then retake the lead over the course of the rest of the quarter, outscoring the Mocs 4-1 over the next several minutes, with Nolan scoring for Florida Southern to keep the game close.

With Westminster leading 6-5, Kaleb Cook scored to tie the game in the final minute of the first quarter as the teams entered the second frame even at six.

The Griffins tallied the first goal in the second quarter before a four-goal scoring run from the Mocs opened the game up. Cook again scored to tie the game at seven-all before Tighe, Brydon Robichaud, and Brendan Glasser each hit the twine to give the Moccasins a 10-7 lead that they would bring into the half.

Matt Flammenspeck scored midway through the third quarter after a lengthy scoring drought for both teams to continue to bolster the Moccasin lead, making it 11-7. The Griffins responded and kept the game tight, but another Flammenspeck goal in the final minutes of the third quarter gave the Mocs a four-goal buffer headed into the fourth, with Florida Southern leading 12-8.

In the first minute of the final frame, the Griffins again trimmed the deficit to just one with Merritt McMahon’s fourth goal of the game, but Andrew Medeiros reclaimed the four-goal lead minutes later to keep the visitors at bay.

Flammenspeck put the nail in the coffin with just under five minutes to play, completing the hat trick with his 30th goal of the season to put the Mocs ahead 14-9, a score line that would remain the same until the final horn. Flammenspeck, the conference’s reigning freshman player of the year, now has bested his goals total from his first season, with six regular-season games still on the docket.

Sean Nolan now has 173 career goals and moves within two tallies of Dane Sorenson for the all-time Moccasin goal-scoring record. He notably had a wide-open cage at the end of regulation but elected to let the clock run out instead of adding his third goal of the day.

With the win, the Mocs have now secured six straight victories as they turn their attention to the in-conference portion of their schedule. After defeating Lynn on Thursday night, the Mocs continue their conference schedule on April 1st, when they travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. for a battle with the Embry-Riddle Eagles at 4 p.m.

Scoring Summary

1st Period
13:52WCWC – Skyler Weathers Assisted by Merritt McMahon10
13:07WCWC – Ryan Kuptz Assisted by Skyler Weathers20
12:23FSCFSC – Jay Minor Assisted by Andrew Medeiros21
11:42FSCFSC – Lucas Sommers Assisted by Clayton Moench22
10:50FSCFSC – Sean Nolan23
09:16FSCFSC – Nolan Tighe Assisted by Andrew Medeiros24
05:59WCWC – Joseph Celentano Assisted by Mike Spaeth34
05:27FSCFSC – Sean Nolan Assisted by Lucas Sommers35
04:02WCWC – Merritt McMahon Assisted by Skyler Weathers45
03:25WCWC – Joseph Celentano55
02:33WCWC – Luke Stilstrop Assisted by Andrew Thomas65
00:25FSCFSC – Kaleb Cook66
2nd Period
13:03WCWC – Merritt McMahon Assisted by Mike Spaeth76
11:53FSCFSC – Kaleb Cook77
11:29FSCFSC – Brydon Robichaud Assisted by Matt Flammenspeck78
10:11FSCFSC – Nolan Tighe79
05:20FSCFSC – Brendan Glasser710
3rd Period
07:12FSCFSC – Matt Flammenspeck711
03:50WCWC – Merritt McMahon811
01:29FSCFSC – Matt Flammenspeck Assisted by Brydon Robichaud812
4th Period
14:31WCWC – Merritt McMahon Assisted by Mike Spaeth912
11:35FSCFSC – Andrew Medeiros Assisted by Sean Nolan913
04:25FSCFSC – Matt Flammenspeck914