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Simone’s 15 Saves Lead #8 FSC Men to 8-7 Road Upset of #3 Wingate – Rally from 5-0 Early Deficit

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

via FSC press release/website


WINGATE, N.C. – The 13th-ranked Florida Southern College men’s lacrosse team opened the 2024 season in exciting fashion Saturday afternoon as the Moccasins went on the road and defeated third-ranked Wingate University, 8-7. The Mocs found themselves trailing 5-0 after the first 15 minutes of action but a stout defense and timely offense allowed FSC to work its way back into the game and eventually take its first lead of the season at 8-7 with just over three minutes remaining in the contest.
Junior Matt Flammenspeck led the way offensively for the Mocs as he connected on a pair of goals while also dishing out an assist. Senior Brendan Glasser and sophomore Nolan Tighe each finished with two points in the contest with Glasser scoring two goals and Tighe dishing out two assists including the game-winning assist. Four others each scored one goal including the game-winner which came from the cross of freshman Maddux Walton who scored a very memorable first career collegiate goal which put the Mocs ahead with just over three minutes to play. Another freshman who saw their first career goal find the back of the cage was Grant Ansted who scored late in the third to cut the deficit to just one.
Defensively, graduate student Nick Shannon caused a team-best three turnovers including on the final Wingate offensive possession with just over 30 seconds remaining in the game. Graduate student LSM Griffin Phillips, sophomore defenseman Joe Buxbaum and senior goalie Michael Simone all caused two turnovers each to help the defensive effort.
Simone was unstoppable in the cage after the opening 15 minutes of action. He allowed just two goals over the final 45 minutes of play while making 10 of his 15 saves over the final three periods. The 15 saves ties a career-high for Simone with his other two 15 save performances coming against nationally-ranked Rollins last season.
At the ‘X’, sophomore Jacob Czyz picked up where he left off last season as one of the top face off specialist in the country. He won 12-of-18 (.667) versus the Bulldogs including going 9-of-11 (.818) versus Wingate’s starting face off specialist. Simone led the team in ground balls with six while Czyz chipped in five.
The Bulldogs came out firing in the first including outscoring the Mocs 5-0 over the opening 15 minutes of play. FSC was only able to get four shots on goal during the period but came back aggressive in the second.
Czyz opened up the scoring for the 2024 season for the Mocs as he collected the opening face off of the second period and raced down to score while also drawing a penalty from the Bulldogs. The Mocs would tally their second goal of the year on a man-up opportunity just 30 seconds later to cut the deficit to just three, 5-2, as Glasser found the cage. The score would remain at 5-2 for the next nine-plus minutes until another man-up opportunity saw junior Brydon Robichaud score his first goal of the season to cut the lead to just two with over four minutes left until halftime. Both teams turned the ball over three times each over the final four minutes of play as neither team found the back of the cage.
Just under four minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs took advantage of a man-up opportunity to score their sixth goal of the contest and push the lead back to three. Just under four minutes later Flammenspeck scored his first goal of the season unassisted with 8:50 left in the third. Just over two minutes later it was Ansted who scored unassisted to cut the deficit to just one with over 21 minutes remaining in the contest. The Mocs had one shot on goal while the Bulldogs had a shot hit the post over the final six minutes of the third but neither team was able to convert as Wingate took a 6-5 lead into the fourth.
A penalty committed by Wingate with just two seconds remaining in the third proved to be costly early in the fourth as Glasser scored his second man-up goal of the day to tie the score at 6-6 with 14:12 left in the contest.  Just under eight minutes later, Wingate retook the lead at 7-6 as Willie Grieco, Wingate’s leading point scorer from last season, found the back of the cage. Just under four minutes later Flammenspeck collected his second score of the contest as he tied up the game at 7-7 with 3:57 remaining. FSC collected the next face off on violation which was Wingate’s third violation causing a 30-second delay of game penalty. The Mocs were unable to score in the 30 seconds but just as Wingate returned to full strength Walton was able to get through to score his first career goal and it would eventually become his first career game-winning goal.
Wingate won the next face off and immediately picked up an FSC penalty giving the Bulldogs a one-minute man advantage. The FSC defense stood strong as Simone made a crucial save which allowed the Mocs to clear the ball with just under three minutes to play. After an FSC timeout, the Mocs peppered the Wingate keeper with back-to-back shots on goal and were able to shave over a minute off the game clock. Wingate was finally able to clear its zone with just over a minute remaining in the contest. The Bulldogs called timeout with just over a minute left (1:03) to draw up a final offensive push. The Mocs defense stood tall for 20 or so seconds until Shannon produced the biggest caused turnover in the game with 38 seconds left and senior Jack Frazee collected the ground ball and was able to clear the zone before Wingate produced their final penalty of the day with 28 ticks left. The Bulldogs did all they could to force a Moccasin turnover but a key timeout with 13 seconds left by head coach Marty Ward allowed the Mocs to finish the game with possession, never allowing the Bulldogs another chance.
The Mocs will now return to Lakeland to prepare for their home opener next Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. as FSC welcomes in the University of Montevallo. The Falcons open their season tomorrow afternoon with a home contest against ninth-ranked UIndy.