FIT Men: Panthers Welcome No. 3 Spartans to Town in Key SSC Matchup

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via press release – photo by Amanda Stratford Photography

 

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Lacrosse) – Florida Tech (6-4, 1-1 SSC) will get the chance to knock off a second ranked Sunshine State Conference opponent in as many contests when the Crimson & Gray hosts 3rd-ranked Tampa (9-1, 2-0 SSC) Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET at Florida Tech Panther Stadium.

The Panthers are coming off a victory over No. 19 Saint Leo in their SSC home opener on Friday.

Trailing the Lions by two at the 7:56 mark of the third, FIT tallied four of the next five goals of the period to take a 10-9 edge into the final frame. After SLU tied the game at 10-10 early in the fourth, the Panthers responded with three scores, in as many minutes, to take a three-goal advantage with 13:42 remaining and held on for the 13-11 win.

Austen Zugelter provided the eventual game winner for his only point of the contest. Jason Terry led all players with a season-high four goals while Brian Bacarella and Tyler Covey each recorded a hat trick.

In between the pipes, Christian Koch matched a season-high with 14 saves, including a number of stops right on the doorstep as the Panthers tried to preserve their lead late in the contest.

The Spartans enter Wednesday’s bout with wins in their last six outings, including victories over SSC opponents Lynn and Florida Southern.

Tampa turned in a record-setting performance against the Mocs on Friday, as it tied team single-game highs for points (39), assists (17) and goals scored (22).

12 different Spartans scored goals in the victory, paced by Andrew Kew’s six tallies. Reigning SSC Offensive Player of the Week Connor Whipple set a new program-mark with 12 points on five goals and a school-record seven assists.

Just a freshman, Kew leads the Spartans in scoring with 39 goals while Whipple is the top points-getter with 69 on 36 goals and a team-high 33 assists. Jake Schmidt (17) and Mike Morris (16) also have double-digit goals. Ryan Vella tops Tampa with 13 caused turnovers.

Spartans goalkeeper A.J. Arnold is 5-0 this season and leads the SSC in save percentage (.588) and goals allowed average (8.24).

A key matchup in the game will be the battle at the faceoff dot. Travis Wunder (.577), who’s third in the SSC with 123 wins, will be tested against UT’s faceoff specialists Alex Patton (.651) and Noah Menendez (.596) who rank fifth and sixth in the league, respectively.

Tampa is 5-0 all-time against Florida Tech, including the two meetings last season. The Spartans won 10-8 in the regular season finale and 11-8 in the SSC Championship Game, both at Tampa.

J.C. Meyerholz will have the call from Florida Tech Panther Stadium. Links to live coverage for all Panther home games can be accessed atwww.FloridaTechSports.com/live.

 

Live Coverage: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/fit/

2016 Schedule: http://www.floridatechsports.com/mlacrosse/schedule/

2016 Roster: http://www.floridatechsports.com/mlacrosse/roster/

 

Daniel Supraner

Assistant Director of Athletic Communications

Florida Tech Athletics

150 W. University Blvd.

Melbourne, Fla. 32901

Work: 321-674-7484

Fax: 321-984-8529