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Panthers Pounce on Molloy in Opener

Lauren Tybor (#20) Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

The sixth-ranked Florida Tech Panthers women’s lacrosse team got a big win to start the season Friday, trouncing the Molloy Lions 22-7 at Florida Tech Panther Stadium. Lauren Tybor led the Panthers onslaught with a seven-goal, one assist game and Sara Grenier had five goals in what was a balanced attack.

“It’s good to have our preseason out of the way and see our hard work come into play,” said Tybor after the game. She added that she “wasn’t surprised,” by the offensive performance because of the hard work the team has been putting in in practice, leading up to Friday’s victory.

Florida Tech (1-0) had 41 shots overall and 35 on goal. Of Molloy’s 20 shots, 14 were on goal and Panthers starter Stephanie Stuart came up with seven saves.

“Molloy was quick with their ball movement tonight,” said Panthers coach Corinne Desrosiers. “They showed up and gave us a good little run.”

The Panthers turned the ball over 22 times while forcing 34 and they were an impressive 19-of-20 on clears. Florida Tech edged Molloy 26-25 in ground balls.

The only thing that slowed FIT on this night was a malfunctioning scoreboard that caused a delay in the second half getting underway.

Sam Schiano got the Panthers started with a goal 1:11 into the game. Nora Miller would tie it up at one, before Tybor got a free-position goal with 2:50 gone by in the contest, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead. Jessica Markowitz tied things up again, moments later, before Schiano beat Lions goalie Jessica Carere 3:45 in, giving the Panthers a 3-2 lead.

That set off a barrage of goals for the Panthers with Aleah Fjelstad, Mollie Kaplan, Grenier, Tybor, Mary Gormley, two more for Tybor and another for Grenier. When the dust settled, there was still 15:42 to go in the half and the Panthers had reeled off nine straight, to lead 11-2.

Markowitz broke up the run for the Panthers with her second of the half, making it 11-3. Kelsey Hammel got into the act for the Lions scoring her first of back-to-back goals at the 12:18 mark and backing that up with 7:50 to go, making it an 11-5 game.

Goals by Alexis Townsend, Tybor and Grenier ended a very strong first half and the Panthers were in the driver’s seat at the break, 14-5. Tybor finished the half with five goals and Grenier added three.

The second half started with a goal from Michaela Siegler of the Lions but Townsend answered just over a minute later, making it 15-6. After Miller scored her second of the night for Molloy, Tybor tallied again 57 seconds later, giving the Panthers a 16-7 lead with 18:06 left.

Chloe Zador took over for Stuart in goal with 12:27 to go. She did not allow a goal.

Grenier would score back-to-back goals, the final one coming on a man-up. Dunleavy would score two more, Tybor one more and Gormley found the back of the net again, as the horn sounded.

For more info: Molloy @ Florida Tech Box Score

“I am impressed with the efforts tonight,” Desrosiers said. “I think we had some really good looks from several kids and LT had seven goals on the night, so that wasn’t bad either.”

Much like Tybor, Desrosiers was not surprised by the offensive outburst. “I’ve been waiting for it,” she said.

“We lost a great player from last year in Allie Modica who is here now as a volunteer assistant and people kept asking me, ‘what are you going to do with no Mo?’ I said you’re gonna see a lot more kids step up and that’s what happened. I probably have nine or 10 offensive starters now.”

The Panthers will hit the road on February 23, when they travel to Gaffney, SC to take on Limestone at 4:00 p.m.