The Florida Tech women’s lacrosse team picked up their 16th win of the season on Friday, beating the Tampa Spartans 20-8 in the semifinals of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament in Lakeland, Florida. The victory extends the school record for wins in a season for the program.
The Panthers (16-1) took 37 shots in this game, 32 of them were on goal. They held a 25-12 advantage in ground balls while doubling up the Spartans in draw controls, 20-10. FIT was successful on 12-of-15 clears, while Tampa went 12-for-18.
Lauren Tybor showed why she was named Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year this week, tying a career-high with six goals to lead the Panthers attack. Sara Grenier scored four times, while Caroline Dunleavy and Sam Schiano each registered a hat-trick.
Panthers starting goaltender Stephanie Stuart was credited with four saves in 46:03. She allowed seven goals and got the win. Chloe Zador had two saves and allowed a single goal in 13:57.
The Panthers will play host Florida Southern in Sunday’s conference title game. The Moccasins beat Rollins on Friday, 23-6. This is the second year in a row that FSC and FIT will battle for the title. Florida Southern won last year’s game 20-12.
Schiano got the scoring started just six seconds into the contest, beating Tampa starting goalie Bridget Sutter, who took home Freshman of the Year honors this week from the SSC. Tybor scored back-to-back goals to make it 3-0 and Dunleavy got her first of the night to stretch the lead to four before Allie Popelear finally got Tampa on the board, 7:59 into the game.
After Dunleavy scored her second of the night, Caroline Forester scored twice within 1:25 to close the gap to 5-3, but Grenier had bookend goals on either end of a Schiano goal to make it 8-3 with 3:26 left. Mollie Kaplan scored twice in a 1:18 span, both goals were assisted by Mary Gormley. That made it 10-4 and the Panthers would go on to lead 13-5 at the half.
Tybor, who scored with 37 seconds left in the first half, started the second half with a goal 41 seconds in. Grenier would score two more goals in 1:56 to give the Panthers a 16-6 lead. After Shannon Sweeney scored for Tampa with 17:08 left, the Panthers closed the game scoring four of the final five goals. Tybor, Alexis Townsend, Brittney Embree and Schiano did the honors.
For more info: Florida Tech Vs Tampa Box Score
Sunday’s title game against Florida Southern is set to start at noon. You can access streaming coverage of the game here.