Victory at Mars Hill Sends Lacrosse to the Championship
April 15, 2011
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For the second time in two games, Catawba Lacrosse not only won in overtime in conference tournament play, but they defeated a team they had formerly lost to earlier in the season. The Indians defeated the Mars Hill Lions on their home turf on Thursday night in the semi finals for the Deep South Conference Tournament.
Mars Hill jumped on the board first with a goal barely three minutes into the game. Catawba struggled to fall into their rhythm, but finally found the net with a little over four minutes remaining in the first quarter by senior Casey Chinn. The quarter would end with both teams at one goal apiece.
Catawba junior Cory Losselyong fired in the first goal of the second quarter only three minutes in before junior Freddie Turcio followed with a goal of his own over two minutes later. The two goal lead that Catawba held for only four minutes would be the biggest lead of the game for either team. Mars Hill responded with less than six minutes remaining and added another goal three minutes later to tie it up. The Indians managed to pull ahead with only 12 seconds remaining in the half as junior Braden Artem scored his first goal of the game to end the half at 4-3.
The Lions came out overly aggressive in the second half and placed another tally on the board five minutes into the third quarter to tie up the game yet again. The similar score would barely last over two minutes before Artem delivered another goal. With just under two minutes in the quarter, Mars Hill found the Catawba net, but only managed to keep the tie for 30 seconds before Chinn secured another goal to end the quarter at 6-5.
The fourth quarter kept everyone on the edge of their seats as both teams fought to grasp and maintain the upper hand. The Lions tallied the first goal of the fourth quarter just under four minutes in, which was followed by another three minutes later to give the Lions their first lead since the first quarter. The lead was short lived as Losselyong rocketed the ball in to the net for his second goal of the night a minute later. Less than two minutes after, Mars Hill managed to fling in another goal, but freshman Trevor Sieracki responded to with a goal of his own in the following minute and a half. Chinn would complete his hat-trick of the night less than 20 seconds later to put Catawba back in the lead. Unfortunately, Mars Hill put the game back in a deadlock for the seventh time of the night with just under two minutes. Regulation would end at a 9-9 draw.
The first four-minute overtime period was dominated by Catawba as they kept possession for the majority of the period and launched two shots at the Mars Hill net. The lone opportunity for the Lions came with 1 second left providing junior goalkeeper Michael Pecchia with his 11th save of the night. The second overtime would only last 45 seconds before freshman John Scheich found Artem who came through in the clutch to seal the win for the Indians with his third goal of the night to end the game at 10-9.
The strong Indian defense was a major asset for the win. An attacking player for Mars Hill earned Player of the Year honors for the conference, but was never able to find the back of the net against the Indians. Sophomore defender Drew Stoltz said of the game, “This was a great team win. We shut down the player of the year to no points and held the best team in the conference to under 10 goals. With the defense playing so well, it was only a matter of time before our offense was able to score the winning goal and send us to Florida for the Championship game.”
Chinn was pleased with the opportunity to defeat the formerly triumphant Lions, but was immediately looking forward to the upcoming championship game. He stated, “I think the first time we played them we didn’t really play as a team. We knew we could beat them if we played as a team and we showed it tonight. Defense played really well and shut down some of the top players in our conference and the offense stepped up when we needed them. Now we need to go to Florida this weekend and play full tilt just like tonight and bring home that trophy.”
The Indians will be traveling to Florida to play Florida Southern College at Saint Leo for the Deep South Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday.