The 10th-ranked Florida Tech women’s lacrosse team drew a tough test in their home opener on Thursday, hosting the second-ranked Adelphi Panthers. The visitors used a seven-goal run in the first half and a four-goal run in the second half to pull away from Florida Tech and earn a 15-9 victory.
Florida Tech netminder Chloe Zador made six saves, all coming in the first quarter.
“I think we took reps off and that’s kinda what led them to gain momentum and go on a run on us,” said Florida Tech coach McKenzie Rafferty, after the game. “
Kole Pollock led Adelphi with six goals, while Sam Schiano led the Panthers with three. Aleah Fjelstad, Leah Dunn, and Alexis Townsend all had two goals for Florida Tech. Townsend added three assists for a five-point night.
Schiano got the home team off to a good start, beating Adelphi goalie Emma Lemanski 3:21 into the contest, putting the home team up 1-0. Pollock evened things up just about three minutes later , beating Zador. Pollock went on to pick up a hat-trick in the first 12:59 of the game. That gave Adelphi a 4-1 lead.
Zador was busy all night, with Adelphi getting 27 shots (18 on goal), to Florida Tech’s 18 (15 on goal).
Adelphi (1-0) would get three more goals to go up 7-1, before Schiano got her second of the game with 5:56 left in the first half. A goal by Townsend 17 seconds later, cut the Adelphi lead to 7-3. That score would hold as the two teams went to halftime.
Schiano started the second half just as she did the first, getting her hat-trick goal 2:05 into the second half, making it a 7-4 game. Adelphi would answer with a goal from Gianna Bifulco, doubling up the Panthers, 8-4.
Fjelstad would answer with her first of the night, making it 8-5. She traded goals with Alison Johnson, who put her team up 9-5. Townsend and Fjelstad would score 47 seconds apart, closing the gap to 9-7, and at that point it seemed like Florida Tech was gaining momentum.
“We’re young and we don’t have much experience playing,” said Rafferty. “So at one point to come out and hold Adelphi in a 9-7 game, that’s so impressive to me and I’m really proud of them. I think that’s why I’m
Unfortunately for the home squad, Adelphi put the brakes on a comeback, as they scored four unanswered goals, the last two out of the stick of Pollock, putting her team up 13-7.
“She’s one of the top three goal scorers in the country,” Rafferty said of Pollock. “She’s good, yes, but could we have defended her better? Yes, of course.”
Dunn would break up the visitors run with her first of the night, coming with 5:52 remaining. Pollock and Johnson would tally goals 49 seconds apart, and Dunn would score the final goal of the night with 38.7 seconds remaining, closing things out at 15-9.
“I’m disappointed in the way the game ended,” said Rafferty. “I don’t think the score reflects how tough we played them and I don’t think it reflects the level of competition that was out here today. They were better than that, they played better than that, and they didn’t really deserve that.”
For more info: Adelphi @ Florida Tech Box Score
Florida Tech turned the ball over 26 times to Adelphi’s 24. FIT did win the ground ball battle, 23-20. Adelphi made good on 18-of-20 clears, while Tech was 16-of-23.
The Panthers homestand will continue Monday against Davenport at 7:00 p.m.