WINGATE, N.C. – Matt Obermeyer tallied five goals and one assist to lead the Saint Leo University men’s lacrosse team to a 13-9 victory over Deep South Conference opponent Wingate University on Saturday afternoon in Wingate, N.C. The Lions advance their record to 4-4, and 3-2 in Deep South Conference action, while the Bulldogs drop to 4-5 and 3-3 in DSC play.
“We showed great composure after a slow start,” said head coach Brad Jorgensen. “Matt Obermeyer was outstanding today, and the goal from Doug Moore was the dagger of the day.”
Behind Obermeyer’s game high five goals and six points, George Proechel and Chris Caiazza netted two goals and an assist apiece for three points on the day. Alex Moteferrante tabbed two points with a goal and an assist, while Ray Ferrara, Ryan Burke, and long stick defender Doug Moore tallied a goal each. Tom Horn wrapped up the Lions’ scoring efforts with an assist on the afternoon.
In cage for the Green and Gold, Patrick Berry set aside eight shots while yielding nine and collecting two ground balls. His opposition for the Bulldogs, Danny Dlugozima, earned 16 saves while allowing 13 shots between the pipes.
Wingate put the first goal on the scoreboard for the day, scoring two minutes in thanks to a goal from Chase Watts. Obermeyer fired back at 11:45 to knot the score at 1-1, but Wingate rattled off two straight to extend their lead to 3-1 with 10:31 on the clock and Saint Leo own goal with 9:07 to go put the Bulldogs up by three, 4-1.
Obermeyer broke the Wingate run with 6:36 remaining in the first quarter and ignited the Lions’ scoring efforts. Burke pulled the Lions to within one 34 seconds later, and a goal from Monteferrante knotted the score at 4-4 with 3:01 to go. Proechel gave the Lions their first lead of the game with a goal at 1:02, closing out the first quarter with the Green and Gold holding on to a 5-4 advantage.
Wingate muddled through the second stanza with two goals while holding the Lions off of the scoreboard, pulling out to a 6-5 lead entering into the half.
Caiazza opened up the third quarter to even the scoreboard at 6-6, but Wingate answered back to pull back into the lead with 11:18 on the clock. Proechel netted the next goal thanks to an assist from Monteferrante, setting the score at 7-7 with 5:48 to go. With two consecutive goals from Obermeyer, the Lions entered into the final period with a 9-7 advantage, and dictated the pace of the game.
The Lions opened up the fourth quarter on a high note, with Horn assisting on a goal from Ferrara 50 seconds in to open Saint Leo’s lead to 10-7. Moore scored 25 seconds later, igniting the Saint Leo sidelines and revving up an already amped squad, and Caiazza grabbed a feed from Obermeyer to pull the Lions ahead 12-7 with 10:37 to go in the game.
Wingate’s Derek Watts broke the Saint Leo streak with a goal with a shade over two minutes remaining, but Obermeyer answered right back 30 seconds later to set the score at 13-8 with 1:31 to go. Wingate netted one more with 1:04 on the clock, but the Lions had already done enough damage on the afternoon, and the Bulldogs found themselves retreating to the doghouse.
Middie Robert Hutchinson finished the game winning 14-of-26 faceoffs, and set a new career high in ground balls with nine, besting his previous record of eight from the Lions’ last game. Sean Connolly and Ferrara each grabbed four ground balls, with Austin Underwood causing a team best two turnovers.
Saint Leo led the shot count 45-42, and won the ground ball battle 38-23. The Lions bested the Bulldogs at the faceoff-x, winning 14-of-26. The Green and Gold was successful on 2-of-5 extra-man opportunities, and a staunch man-down unit held Wingate silent on all three of the Bulldogs’ man-up situations.
The Lions return to action on Tuesday, March 20, when they take on rival Tampa in DSC action. Game time against the Spartans is slated for 7 p.m. at Pepin Stadium. Fans will be able to catch all of the action live at saintleolions.com.