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Mocs’ Manhandle Panthers in SSC Opener

Kailee O’Brien had a goal in the Panthers loss at Florida Southern on Saturday. Lou Marinacci - Pictures of Motion

It was a tough day for the 24th-ranked Florida Tech women’s lacrosse team in Lakeland, as the third-ranked Florida Southern Moccasins came away with a convincing 16-4 victory.

Sam Schiano was the only Panther player with two goals. Kailee O’Brien had one and Lexi Woviotis scored the only goal of the second half for the Panthers.

Florida Tech goalie Chloe Zador made 12 saves for the Panthers, Florida Southern took 41 shots, 21 of them on goal. Florida Tech put 11 of their 14 shots on goal, with Florida Southern goalie Patricia Werker turning away seven of them.

Aubriana Benedetto and Maliah Benedetto each had a hat-trick for the Moccasins, while Brenna Smith and Riley Bannatyne had two each. Marina Jozokos ended the day with four helpers.

The Panthers (5-4, 0-1 SSC) were outshot 41-14 in this one, and Florida Southern got going early, getting two goals from Smith and one from Sarah Grady. Schiano’s first of the day came with 9:52 gone in the half, making it 3-1.

Aubriana Benedetto scored two of the next four FSC goals, giving the home team a 7-1 lead. O’Brien stopped the run with her tally, making it 7-2 with 11:20 left in the first half. Grace Glinecki‘s goal made it 8-2 and Schiano would beat Werker to cut the lead to five, with 4:19 to go in the half.

Abby Hammond scored with 3.6 seconds left in the first half, giving the home team a 9-3 lead at the break. The Mocs’ held a 24-8 lead in shots after the first 30 minutes.

Maliah Benedetto scored the first two goals of the second half, coming 16 seconds apart. It started a five-goal run from the Mocs’ that ended when Woviotis scored with 8:54 left, cutting the deficit to 14-4. That was the only tally of the half for the Panthers. Aubriana Benedetto and Abby Joselyn finished the scoring for FSC.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Florida Southern Box Score 

Florida Southern (7-1, 1-0 SSC) dominated statistically, with a 37-21 advantage in ground balls and a 15-6 advantage in draw controls. They also forced 23 Florida Tech turnovers, with the Panthers getting 16. The Mocs’ were 3-for-10 on Free-position shots, while Tech went 1-for-2.

Florida Tech returns home Tuesday, March 19 to face Alabama-Huntsville. Opening draw is set for 7:00 p.m.