Kew Sparks Spartans Victory

Justin Williams had a hat-trick in Wednesday’s 14-9 loss to Tampa. Lou Marinacci - Pictures of Motion

Andrew Kew had a six-point night and Matt Vetter added five points, helping the Tampa Spartans to a 14-9 win over Florida Tech in Wednesday’s Sunshine State Conference lacrosse matchup at Pepin Stadium.

Justin Williams led the Panthers with a hat-trick and Brad Schillinger added two goals and an assist to lead the Panthers. Florida Tech goaltender Daniel Flock was under fire most of the night, having to make 18 saves. Tampa took 54 shots, 32 of them on goal.

On the other side, B.J. Borowski saw only 19 of Florida Tech’s 43 shots on goal, making 10 saves.

Fresh off the biggest comeback in program history on Saturday against Rollins, the Panthers looked to take down Tampa, the team that they beat last year in what was the biggest upset in program history. It was not to be, as the Spartans took control early, and never relinquished it.

In the game against Rollins, Florida Tech’s Ryan Land set a Sunshine State Conference record with 28 faceoff wins, also setting a school record. Coach Mark Penn acknowledged that was the difference in the game. On Tuesday, the Panthers were on the other side of that statistic, as Tampa won 20-of-26, including 10-of-12 in the first half. The Spartans also held a decided advantage in ground balls, 43-26.

After Tampa (7-4, 2-0 SSC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead, a goal by Tommy Bowser made it 2-1 with 3:28 left in the first quarter. That score would hold as the first Stanza came to a close.

Schillinger scored 1:17 into the second quarter, tying the game at two. The Spartans answered in a big way with a five-goal run, including two goals by Colin White, making it 7-2.

Logan Sweeney broke up the run, closing the gap to four with 3:22 left in the half, and seemingly giving the visitors some momentum heading into the third quarter. Instead, the Spartans would get goals from Bryan Wright, and White, increasing the lead to 9-3. The ninth goal gave White his hat-trick.

Williams scored his first goal with 8:12 left in the third quarter, cutting it to 9-4, but two goals by Vetter were part of another five-goal run by the home team, and just like that, it was 14-4 with 5:41 left in the game.

It was going to take a monumental comeback for the Panthers to pull off another miracle, and they gave it their best shot, as Williams scored twice 1:23 apart, both on the man-up. The goals came after a two-minute illegal body check on Colin White closing the gap to 14-6. The penalty was for a hit against Bryce Johnson, who stayed down for a couple of minutes, but did walk off the field with minimal assistance.

Brett Pohlmeyer scored with 61 seconds left, cutting Tampa’s lead in half. Goals by Schillinger and Addison Abramson came in a 16-second span, closing the gap to 14-9,  but the clock ran out on the Panthers chance of another history-making game.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Tampa Box Score

The Panthers (5-2, 1-1 SSC) next game will be on the road, at Lynn on Wednesday, April 3. The opening faceoff is set for 6:00 p.m.