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Tampa Falls 15-14 to Lenoir-Rhyne in NCAA D2 Men’s Semifinal Battle

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

Jupiter alum Devon Rasmus 1G/1GB, Jupiter alum Jackson Bashaw 1A/1GB, East Lake alum Jackson Day 2GBs for Tampa.

via Tampa press release/website


TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa’s season comes to an end after falling just short to Lenoir-Rhyne in a close battle at home. 

The Spartans would waste no time to begin the game, with Owen Miller opening the scoring with an unassisted goal. Soon after, Andrew Milani would find the back of the net to build the Tampa lead. A bit later, Ryan Kemp would net his first of the game to push the momentum the Spartans’ way, causing the Bears to call a timeout. Kemp would net his second soon after before the Bears got one back with just under eight minutes left in the quarter. Lenoir-Rhyne tied the game at four with just under three minutes left. Milani would net his second of the game to put Tampa back in the lead however, Lenoir-Rhyne would net a goal with five seconds left to tie the game at five headed into the second quarter.

The second quarter began with the Bears taking the lead early after a goal. Soon after, Milani would finish off his 11th hat trick of the season to tie the game at six under two minutes into the quarter. On the next possession, Nick Papa capitalized off a pass from Milani to put Tampa back in the lead. Canyon Birch would score to build the Spartans’ lead back up with just over 10 minutes left before the half. Tampa would score back-to-back goals behind Devon Rasmus and Zack Friend before Lenoir-Rhyne got one back and cut the lead to three. Goalkeeper Luca Mercaldo was standing tall in net, making a couple of saves to keep the Tampa lead at three headed into halftime.

The second half began with Miller opening the scoring once again, netting his second goal of the game. The Bears would find the back of the net four consecutive times to tie the game at 11 with just under six minutes left in the quarter. With just over three minutes left, the Bears took a one-goal lead, pressuring the Spartans. Milani connected with Birch for his second of the game to tie the game at 12 heading into the final 15 minutes.

The final 15 minutes began with a sense of urgency from both teams wanting to score first. The Bears would score early to take a one-goal lead. Lenoir-Rhyne would score again before Charlie Bolesh netted an unassisted goal to cut the Bears’ lead to one. Miller connected with Birch to tie the game at 14 with just over three minutes left. The Bears’ late goals would be enough to earn a place in the championship to defend their title.

Stat of the Game – Milani recorded his 11th hat trick of the season.


  • Luca Mercaldo stood tall in net for Tampa, recording 8 saves.
  • Milani recorded his 11th hat trick of the season.
  • Birch recorded his 13th hat trick of the season.
  • Alex Poma led Tampa in groundballs with 5.

Tampa Men’s Lacrosse would like to thank the fans for all the support this season. Go Spartans!