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Catawba Ruins Panthers Home Opener

Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown

The Catawba Indians came to the Olin Complex on Saturday to open the Panther lacrosse home schedule and the visitors had a big fourth quarter, en route to a 12-8 victory over the Panthers.

The Indians (1-2) tallied five times in the fourth quarter, including a goal by Cole Fanzo, who led Catawba with four tallies. Joe Barber ended the day with a hat-trick and the Panthers were led by Logan Sweeney and Luke Palmisano, who scored two each.

A low-scoring affair is not something you see much when it comes to lacrosse, but that’s exactly what this game was for the first 30 minutes. The first goal came from Barber with 6:49 left in the quarter, as he beat Daniel Flock. Florida Tech got their first goal 4:08 later, out of the stick of Sweeney, and the game was tied at one.

Catawba scored the only two goals of the second quarter, as Colin Gesswein and Tony Bellotte scored 2:02 apart, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead at the half. Both goaltenders were good, with Kevin Geiger making four saves and Flock making eight, including five in the first quarter.

Brett Pohlmeyer got the Panthers to within one when he beat Geiger 1:22 into the third quarter. Fanzo took back the momentum for Catawba, scoring twice in the span of 46 seconds and just like that. it was 5-2.

Palmisano and Sweeney and Tommy Bowser made it a brand new game, as they all scored within a four-minute span, tying the game at five. Fanzo would net his hat-trick a few minutes later and Barber would make it 7-5 with 40 seconds to go in the third. Addison Abramson would cut it to one, as he surprised Geiger with a late shot cutting the Catawba lead to 7-6 with under three seconds left.

That set the stage for what was expected to be a very tightly contested fourth quarter, but Catawba had other ideas. Robert Morrison, Barber, and Joey Monfort all found the back of the net within about a four-minute run and just like that, it was 10-6.

After Palmisano scored to cut the deficit to three, Catawba got it right back as Gesswein made it a four-goal game again. That was the end of the day for Flock, who gave way to Jake Hahn with 8:55 to go in the game. Fanzo would greet him with a goal 35 seconds later and the Panthers last goal came from Braden Dunn with 4:44 on the clock.

For more info: Catawba @ Florida Tech Box Score

Florida Tech (2-1) had a 43-40 advantage in shots, but Catawba led in shots on goal, 22-21. The Panthers turned the ball over 27 times to Catawba’s 26, and the Indians held an advantage in clears, successful on 23-of-26.

Ryan Land was 14-of-24 on Faceoffs for the Panthers and Flock made 10 saves. Geiger finished with 13.

Florida Tech will next play a neutral site game in Savannah, GA against Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday, March 2nd. The game is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m.