TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa lacrosse team defeats Wingate University 8-7 in a dramatic comeback. Tampa improves to 2-0 on the season and in conference, while Wingate goes to 0-1 in both.
Spartans got the scoring started with a goal by M.J. Lorenzo at the 4:56 mark in the first period. The goal was Lorenzo’s first of the season. However, less than two minutes later the Bulldogs tied the game with an unassisted goal by Derek Watts. After one period it was knotted at one.
Three and a half minutes into the second quarter Wingate took its first lead of the game with a goal by Jackson Bunn, assisted by David Lee. WU’s lead only lasted four minutes when Greg Griffo netted his first of the season.
It was back and forth all quarter, as David Lee put the Bulldogs back on top 3-2 with his first. With two minutes and forty seconds remaining in the half, A.J. DeSimone tied the game with his first of the game and third of the game. Griffo recorded the assist.
Right before time ran out on the first half, Griffo scored his second of the game, giving the Spartans a 4-3 lead. Tampa was 6 of 8 on faceoffs, and had a one shot lead over Wingate 15-14.
Wingate come out of the break looking like a new team. David Lee scored his second and third goal 24 seconds apart from each other with just over seven minutes into the half. Travis Barrett and Garrett Kendall had an assist in respective goals. Both goals came with a man up.
Trailing 5-4 with just over five minutes left in the third period, A.J. DeSimone struck again with his second of the game and fourth of the season. Griffo again recorded an assist on the goal.
With one second remaining in the third quarter, Watts registered his second goal of the game, giving Wingate a 6-5 lead going into the last period. WU dominated the shots category in the third, putting up 11 to UT’s four.
The first nine minutes of the fourth period were quiet. It wasn’t until the 5:11 mark that David Lee seemingly ended the Spartans hopes of winning its first road game. It was lee’s fourth of the game and Watts’ first assist.
Under five minutes remaining, the Spartans looked to captain Greg Griffo for relief. With 4:34 left in the game and Tampa down 7-5, Griffo netted his third of the game and cutting the Wingate lead to one.
Just two minutes and twenty seconds later, Griffo attacked again. A game and season high of four goals in one game, number 23 tied the game at 7 with 2:14 remaining.
For the second time in as many games, the Spartans erased a two goal deficit. 29 seconds after Griffo’s tying game, Jonathan Franzese put in the game-winner assisted by Andrew Hoffmann. This was the Spartans first lead since the middle of the third period.
Goaltender Joe Fiorucci recorded 17 saves on the day, backing up his Deep South Conference Player of the Week honors. Fiorucci also recorded a team high of eight ground balls.
Franzese’s goal was his third of the season, but more importantly his second game-winning goal for the Spartans. He also received POW honors as freshman of the week in the DSC.
Tampa heads to South Carolina to face Coker College on Sunday at noon.
Related Item: Box Score