The Florida Tech Panthers had their home opener spoiled in overtime Monday, as the 18th-ranked Saint Anselm Hawks scored with 2:57 left to beat the Panthers 17-16 in a men’s lacrosse showdown.
Matt Cullinan’s fifth goal of the day ended up being the game-winner, ending what was a back-and-forth barnburner at Panther field at the Olin Complex. Ryan Richards had a seven-point day for the Hawks, scoring three goals. Matt Ward added three goals of his own.
Florida Tech (2-5) had their share of scoring in this one, led by Justin Williams four goals and two assists, Reid Chaconas had four goals, Luke Palmisano went on a three-goal individual run midway through the fourth quarter, giving the Panthers a 15-14 lead with 7:20 to go. He ended the night with three goals and three assists.
Saint Anselm (2-0) had 45 shots (33 on goal) against Panthers goalie Vincent Palermo. He allowed 17 goals and made 16 saves. Saint Anselm goalie CJ Hart saw 39 Panther shots, (25 on goal). He allowed 16 goals and made nine saves.
Williams got the Panthers going as he scored twice in the first 2:07 of the game, giving the home team a 2-0 lead. St. Anselm answered, but Chandler Hake countered that tally, making it a 3-1 game. After two Hawks’ goals tied the game, mister reliable Chaconas made it 4-3 Panthers with six minutes left in the first quarter.
Matt Lecompte knotted the game 5-5 when he scored with 39 seconds left in the first quarter. The Panthers would then get the first two goals of the second quarter, from Chaconas and Andy Stump, making it 7-5. That lead was short-lived, as Saint Anselm would get goals from Jack Robinson and griffin Shoemaker, tying it again at seven.
Williams would get his hat trick goal with 5:15 to go, backed up by a goal from Caiden Rast, giving the Panthers a two-goal lead with 2:41 to go in the half. That lead would hold up as these two teams went into the break.
Stump would get his second goal of the day 1:33 into the third, giving the Panthers a 10-7 cushion, but Saint Anselm would score six of the next seven goals, and they would go to the fourth quarter with a 13-11 lead.
Cullinan and Chaconas traded goals to start the final stanza and that made it 14-12. Palmisano, who had a couple of assists to this point in the game, reeled off three straight goals, turning a two-goal deficit into a one-goal lead, 15-14. A goal from Williams swelled the lead to three with 4:35 remaining in regulation.
Cullinan and Shoemaker would then score two consecutive goals 1:27 apart, tying the game at 16. No other goals were scored in the final 56 seconds of the fourth, sending this one to overtime.
Cullinan ended the game with just under three minutes to go, as he found space and rifled it past Palermo, sending the Hawks home with a hard-fought victory.
For more info: Saint Anselm @ Florida Tech Box Score
Saint Anselm finished this game with a 23-14 lead in faceoffs and a 44-34 advantage in ground balls. Each team turned the ball over 20 times. The Hawks were 17-for-18 on clears, and the Panthers were 15-of-17. Two of the Panthers’ goals came on the extra-man, while the Hawks had one.
The Panthers will next play 10 days from now, hosting Westminster out of Utah on Thursday, March 12 at 4:00 p.m.