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Bears Stave Off Panthers Upset Bid

Carson Clough – Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers got off to a fast start in Hickory North Carolina on Friday, but the sixth-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne Bears battled back and hung on for a 14-12 victory in a non-conference men’s lacrosse matchup.

Justin Williams scored two of the Panthers first three goals and ended up with a five-point night, tallying four goals and an assist. Logan Sweeney added a hat trick, while Carson Clough and Addison Abramson scored two goals each.

Goalie Daniel Flock made 11 saves, while his counterpart Ryan Crompton made 15. Each team fired 40 shots in their direction. Jake Hahn played 47 seconds in net for the Panthers.

Florida Tech (1-3) got bookend goals from Williams with Abramson scoring in the middle. That gave FIT a 3-0 lead with 6:43 to go in the first quarter. Ben Corrigan scored goals 16 seconds apart and Joe Buduo scored 1:01 later to tie the game at three.

Reid Patton gave the Bears their first lead of the night seven seconds later, only to see Abramson tie it up again with 2:36 left in the quarter. That’s how the first 15 minutes would end.

Corrigan registered his hat trick on the man-up to get the Bears started in the second quarter with Buduo following that with his second of the day, giving the home team a 6-4 lead. Sweeney and Chris Britton traded goals before Corrigan struck again with 4:30 left in the half, making it an 8-5 game.

Williams got his hat trick with 1:54 left, cutting the deficit to two goals, as the two teams went to the half.

It took Ryan Bell 31 seconds to give Lenoir-Rhyne their three-goal lead back. Buduo’s hat-trick was complete two minutes after the Bell goal, making it a 10-6 game. Florida Tech was far from done, with Reid Chaconas, Sweeney (man-up) and Clough rattled off three straight and just like that, it was 10-9, as the third quarter came to a close.

Bell struck again 42 seconds into the fourth quarter, with Buduo and Eric Dickinson following that with tallies, expanding the Bears lead to 13-9. Clough would score with 10:15 to go, but that was quickly answered by Bowen Collins, stretching the lead to 14-10.

Williams big day closed with 6:56 left, bringing the Panthers to within three and Sweeney scored with 2:53 left. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they just ran out of time, as the Bears controlled the ball for the majority of the time remaining.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Lenoir Rhyne Box Score

Many of the statistical categories were as close as the final score. FIT had 27 shots on goal to the Bears 25. Each team turned the ball over 12 times and Lenoir-Rhyne held the edge in ground balls 27-21 and faceoffs 17-11.

Florida Tech will continue their Carolina jaunt with a game on Sunday against Catawba. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.