After beating #5 Tampa on Wednesday, the Florida Tech men’s lacrosse team were giant killers again on Saturday, as Mason Ostrowski scored with 6.9 seconds left, giving the Panthers an 11-10 win over visiting Mount Olive, ranked 10th in the country.
“My heart is still racing,” said Panthers coach Ryan McAleavy immediately after the game. “That was awesome.”
Ostrowski had a six-point day with three goals and three assists and Carson Clough added a hat-trick of his own. Ryan Land was a machine at the faceoff dot, winning 16 of 19, many of those in the latter stages of the game.
“This kid has been working his tail off all year,” said McAleavy of Land. “He and Lance (Pavlina) work well together on faceoffs and they are smart enough to know if one of the guys is on to let him have it and Lance pulled himself and told Ryan to go get ’em. He (Land) found the flaws and he’s getting the game ball today.”
This was a tightly contested game all the way, with just over half of the first quarter gone before Matt Weinstein scored, beating Trojans goalie Will Urban with 7:17 left in the quarter. Tommy Bowser and Ostrowski scored goals 2:38 apart, giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
Austin Whitlow got the Trojans (8-3) on the board 1:14 later and Tyler Keele scored with under one second left on the clock, making it a 3-2 game after the first 15 minutes.
Clough scored his first of the day 29 seconds into the second quarter, pushing the Panthers lead to 4-2. He would strike again, 2:23 later, giving FIT another three-goal advantage, 5-2. It took just 1:07 for Mount Olive to answer, on a goal from Cody Graden.
Scott Dagnanleach made it a 5-4 game, but the Panthers bounced back with tallies from Tajee Mobley and Ostrowski, 1:59 apart. That pushed the Panthers lead to 7-4.
Panthers goalie Daniel Flock made 12 saves in this one, three of those in the second quarter. He made a great save with 1:20 left in the half, but the save got him out of position and he couldn’t recover in time to stop a shot from Broday Sullivan, making it 7-5.
Unfortunately, the Panthers were bitten again by the late goal, as Jacob Bell scored with just over six seconds left in the half, closing the gap to one, 7-6.
“Daniel struggled a little bit in the first half seeing the ball,” McAleavy said of his netminder. “They were getting a lot of shots off screens so he was having trouble finding it. We talked to him at halftime and he said he was good.”
He (Flock) is our most dedicated leader,” McAleavy continued. “We knew when the game comes down to it, he’s the kid you want in the cage leading that defense and he did another outstanding job.”
Flock was on his toes early in the third coming away with a couple impressive saves and the Panthers killed off a Mount Olive man-up, helped by the defense of David Welsh, causing a turnover early in the Trojans advantage.
Despite that, Sullivan would eventually put away his second of the day, knotting the game at seven with 6:38 left in the third. Reid Chaconas and Sullivan would trade goals late in the quarter, taking this game to the fourth quarter, tied at eight.
Florida Tech (4-4) started the fourth quarter down a man for 1:25. They were able to kill that off and Clough rewarded his teammates, completing his hat-trick with 13:17 left in the game. Chaconas followed with his second of the day, giving the home team a 10-8 lead with 8:45 to go.
“Carson being a senior came back this semester just for this reason,” said McAleavy. “He has a lot of history with the Mount Olive coach, they are both from Carolina obviously, so they’re really good friends and Carson was just awesome today.”
Thatcher Clark put the Trojans on his back, scoring two consecutive goals in a span of 2:57, tying the game at 10 with 28 seconds to go. As he did all day, Land came up big for the Panthers on the ensuing faceoff. There was no panic in this team, as they got downfield, set the play and Ostrowski made his final shot of the day count, beating Urban with 6.9 left and sending the Panthers to their third consecutive win.
For more info: Mount Olive @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers get back into Sunshine State Conference play on Saturday, traveling to Rollins for a 1:00 p.m. faceoff.