The Fifth-ranked Florida Tech Panthers took care of business in a big way on Wednesday, beating the PBA Sailfish 23-1, in a Sunshine State Conference women’s lacrosse game.
The Panthers outshot the Sailfish 41-4 and the Panthers had 37 shots on goal, to two for the home team. PBA turned the ball over 27 times and was successful on just 6-of-21 clears. FIT held a 29-13 advantage in ground balls and 19-7 in draw controls.
The Panthers (13-1, 3-1 SSC) were led by Division II National Player of the Week Lauren Tybor, who scored four goals. Leah Dunn and Sara Grenier each had a hat trick, while Hunter Cairo, Allie Wood, and Haley Heggblod found the goal column for the first time this season. Cairo enjoyed her first goal so much, she scored number two later in the contest. Mary Gormley led the Panthers with six points on two goals and four assists.
This one was over early, as the Panthers triggered the running clock with 17:15 left in the first half, following Grenier’s second of the night and 50th of the season. That was also the end of the night for Florida Tech starting goalie Stephanie Stuart. Stuart allowed just one goal in 13:03 of action, before giving way to Chloe Zador with FIT leading 11-1. Zador would make one save in 46:57 and did not allow the Sailfish to find the back of the net.
Palm Beach Atlantic goalie Sarah Vernarelli was not so lucky. Grenier scored 37 seconds into the game and Dunn found the goal 27 seconds later and wasted little time scoring her second of the night, giving the Panthers an early 3-0 lead. Mollie Kaplan made it 4-0 Florida Tech before Grace Bartlinski got the home team on the board with 22:32 left in the half. It was Bartlinski’s 34th of the season but turned out to be the only goal the home team would score all night.
Caroline Dunleavy and Tybor would score 37 seconds apart and would go back-to-back again moments later, giving the Panthers a 9-1 lead with 18:32 left in the half. Alexis Townsend got the Panthers into double digits and Grenier’s 50th gave them that all-important 10-goal lead.
After Tybor scored with 15:35 to go, Gormley got into the act 21 seconds later, to make it 13-1. Cairo’s first of the night and first of the season came with nine minutes left in the first half and goals from Dunn and Tybor took the Panthers to the half with a 16-1 lead.
Sam Schiano and Gormley scored with less than two minutes gone in the second half, making it 18-1, before Cairo scored her second of the night. Grenier scored again 1:58 later and Wood, who has spent the season being one of the Panthers best defenders, found herself in position to score and she did just that with 7:06 to go in the game, giving the Panthers a 21-1 lead with 7:06 to go.
Goals by Cristina Marani and Heggblod came 2:06 apart and gave the Panthers their winning margin of 22 goals.
For more info: Florida Tech @ PBA Box Score
Things went from bad to worse for PBA, who came into this game without any bench players, due to injury. Once Dom Barber was issued her second yellow card with 11:40 to go, the home team was a player down. It didn’t matter, but it is rare that you see a player tossed.
Florida Tech returns home Saturday and will celebrate Senior Night prior to their game against Embry-Riddle. The opening draw is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.