Panthers Cruise to Victory Over Lenoir-Rhyne

Leah Dunn – Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers got their ninth straight win to start the season Friday, beating the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears 16-5 in a women’s lacrosse matchup.

Leah Dunn scored six goals to lead the Panthers offensive attack. Mollie Kaplan and Sam Schiano each had a hat trick to help the cause. Gabby Sousa had four of the five goals for the visitors.

The game started with Dunn and Sousa trading the first two goals for each side, tying the game at 2-2 with 17:05 to go. Just moments before Lenoir-Rhyne got that second goal, Allie Wood made a great defensive play as the Bears had numbers going forward and Wood knocked the ball away from behind. Sousa would end up with the ball on her stick shortly thereafter and scored the tying goal.

Dunn would score with 15:50 left in the half to give the Panthers a lead they would never relinquish. Goals by Schiano and Kaplan were bookended by another Dunn goal with 5:27 to go. Aleah Fjelstad‘s only goal of the game gave the Panthers a 7-2 lead with 1:04 left in the half and they held that lead at the half.

Dunn picked up where she left off, notching her fifth goal of the game 3:26 into the second half and giving the Panthers an 8-2 lead. Sousa would score soon after making it 8-3, but the Panthers reeled off five straight goals, making it 13-3 and triggering the running clock.

Sousa’s fourth and final goal of the night came with 14:53 to go, making it a 13-4 game. Sara Grenier would score twice in the span of 2:58 and it was 15-4. Cathleen Gaffney made it a 10-goal margin with 3:31 left and Schiano put the icing on the cake for the Panthers with 1:32 to go.

Florida Tech goaltender Stephanie Stuart was stellar in net again, coming up with seven saves. Lenoir-Rhyne had 13 shots in all, while the Panthers took 41, 28 were on goal.

Florida Tech turned the ball over 18 times while forcing 26. They dominated the Bears in ground balls 43-27 and held a slim 12-11 advantage in draw controls.

For more info: Lenoir-Rhyne @ Florida Tech Box Score

Florida Tech (9-0) will now have a well-deserved eight days off before hosting Florida Southern next Saturday. The opening draw is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.

This game has been circled on the Panthers schedule all year and will likely decide the Sunshine State Conference champion. The Moccasins will have an identical 9-0 record when the showdown at Florida Tech Panther Stadium commences.