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Panthers Put Scare into Second-Ranked Rollins

Chloe Zador made a career-high 17 saves on Saturday. Lou Marinacci - Pictures of Motion

After giving sixth-ranked Tampa all they could handle on Wednesday, the Florida Tech women’s lacrosse team played big again Saturday against second-ranked Rollins, taking the Tars to the limit before falling 9-7 in Winter Park, FL.

Sam Schiano led the Panthers offensive attack with a hat-trick and Kailee O’Brien scored twice, while Caroline MacLeod and Lexi Woviotis had single tallies. Leah Dunn added two assists.

Florida Tech goalie Chloe Zador made a career-high 17 saves for the Panthers. It is the second most saves by a Panthers goalie in program history.

Florida Tech (5-7, 0-3 SSC) took 19 shots, with 15 of those on goal. Rollins netminder Gabby Tanner made eight saves.

Rollins (11-1, 2-1 SSC) got on the board early, with Hannah Ashton scoring 1:17 into the contest. Kallie German and Sammy Ottimo followed, giving the Tars a 3-0 lead. Woviotis got the Panthers on the board with 9:18 left in the half, cutting the deficit to two.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, German and Ashton would strike again, along with Rachel Valocchi, who scored with 14 seconds left in the half, making it a 6-1 lead for the home team.

The second half was just 2:39 old when the first of two weather delays happened. After a lengthy delay, Panthers freshman Caroline MacLeod scored her second goal of the season, cutting the Rollins lead to 6-2.

Ashton would score her hat-trick goal and Ottimo would follow with her second of the night, making it 8-2 before more lightning caused another delay, after about nine minutes of playing time.

The delay was much shorter the second time, but as it did the first time, it seemed to spark the Panthers. Schiano scored her first of the night and 33rd of the season with 15:26 to go. O’Brien followed with her first of the night, 44 seconds later, to make it an 8-4 game. Less than a minute after that, Schiano would find the back of the net again, closing the gap to 8-5.

German’s hat-trick goal gave the Tars a 9-5 lead, but the Panthers battled back again, getting goals from Schiano and O’Brien. Both goalies stood tall in the final 4:07, as the game ended 9-7.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Rollins Box Score

Florida Tech was hurt by 24 turnovers in this game, while Rollins gave it away 17 times. The Panthers were 16-for-28 on clears, while the Tars were good on 19-of 22. Rollins held a slim 24-21 edge in ground balls and in draw controls, 10-8.

Florida Tech returns home on Wednesday for another Sunshine State Conference tilt against Palm Beach Atlantic. The opening draw is set for 7:00 p.m. at Florida Tech Panther Stadium.