The sixth-ranked Florida Tech Panthers improved to 2-0 on the early season with an 18-14 win over the 13th-ranked Limestone Saints on Friday in a non-conference women’s lacrosse tilt.
Sara Grenier scored five goals to lead the Panthers offensive attack and now has 201 career points. Leah Dunn and Caroline Dunleavy each had a hat-trick, while Mary Gormley, Sam Schiano, and Lauren Tybor had two apiece. A late goal by Aleah Fjelstad rounded out the scoring.
Panthers goalie Stephanie Stuart had a big game in net, making 11 saves and keeping the Saints at a distance, especially in the second half. Jenna Haring made nine saves for the home team.
Limestone (2-1) got off to a fast start with goals by Caitlyn Nemeth, Shannon Sisk, and Kendra Sheppard, giving the Saints a 3-0 lead just 3:24 into the game.
Schiano got the Panthers on the board with a goal 4:59 in, that kicked off a six-goal run for Florida Tech. Grenier and Tybor followed, tying the game at three and Grenier broke that tie with 18:06 left. Tybor struck again with 14:43 left and Leah Dunn made it 6-3, just under two minutes later.
Limestone scored two goals 36 seconds apart, closing the gap to 6-5. Dunn scored again with 7:28 left, triggering another run by the Panthers, who got goals two goals from Grenier, one from Dunleavy and back-to-back goals from Gormley to end the run with 48 seconds to go in the half.
With that, the Panthers ended the half with a 12-5 lead. They had 20 shots on goal in that first half, 17 of them were on goal. Stuart had six saves in the half.
Anna O’Donnell scored 46 seconds into the second half to cut the Panthers lead in half. Nemeth followed 2:56 later Nemeth added another, closing the gap to 12-7. Dunleavy answered that, but Nemeth scored consecutive goals less than a minute apart to make it 13-9. Britannie Ouimet took just 56 seconds to score again, making it a three-goal game.
The momentum swung back the Panthers way when Grenier Dunleavy and Dunn scored consecutive goals. The tallies from Dunleavy and Dunn came just 20 seconds apart and gave the visitors a 16-10 lead with 11:36 to go in the game.
After Limestone scored three of the next four goals, to make it 17-13 with 3:42 to go, Schiano scored one-minute later to widen the lead to 18-14. Foster would score the final goal of the game with 2:16 to go, as Florida Tech hung on.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Limestone Box Score
Stuart made five saves in that second half, a few of them coming in succession as the Saints made their push late in the game.
This was a close game both on the scoreboard and statistically. Shots were 33-29 in favor of FIT, holding a 27-25 edge in shots on goal. Florida Tech turned the ball over 27 times, to 26 for Limestone. The Panthers were 22-of-23 on clears, while the Saints were 20-of-25. Limestone held the edge in ground balls, 27-25.
The Panthers continue their Carolina trip on Sunday, as they take on Queens University of Charlotte. Faceoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.