Header pic: Caroline MacLeod – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
The Florida Tech women’s lacrosse team visited the Flagler Saints on Thursday in the first game of the season for the Panthers. Flagler made a game of it in the fourth, but Tech hung on for the 17-15 win.
This was the first meeting between the two teams, as Flagler is in their inaugural season of lacrosse. The Saints were coming off two consecutive wins against NAIA teams last week where they outscored their opponents 46-10.
Freshman Carly Niro had four goals and an assist, while junior Kayla Minton had four goals and two ground balls. Senior Caroline MacLeod added a hat trick and an assist, and junior Rachel Johnson had a hat trick of her own. Freshman Charlotte Hardie had two assists, and the Panthers got single goals from senior Kailee O’Brien, sophomore Millie Hurt, and sophomore Jennifer Boyle.
Jordan Shughrue had four goals for Flagler and teammates Carly LaFerriere, and Madison Daziel each had a hat trick to lead the Saints offense.
Freshman Cailey Canessa started in goal for the Panthers, while Alex Eubanks started for Flagler before being replaced by Lauren Ribadeneira after the first quarter. Canessa had three saves, while Eubanks and Ribadeneira combined for 10.
Niro got her big night started early with her first goal as a Panther 1:38 in to make it 1-0. Kaitlyn Bush tied things up two minutes later and Daizel gave Flagler a 2-1 lead soon after. After Katelyn Trainor made it 3-1, Florida Tech went on a three-goal run to end the first quarter.
Johnson, MacLeod, and Boyle would get the goals all on free-position shots and the Panthers led 4-3 at the end of one.
Niro and MacLeod made it 6-3 in the first 1:17 of the quarter, but the Saints answered with three in a row, tying things up 6-6. The Panthers came back with a three-goal run of their own, thanks to two goals by Minton, bookending a goal by Hurt. The second quarter ended with the Panthers on the positive side of a 9-6 score.
The second half was delayed a couple of minutes, as the officials were late coming out of the locker room.
Johnson scored a man-up goal on a free position goal 51 seconds into the third. She would score again at the 11:44 mark, her hat trick goal, giving the Panthers an 11-6 lead. Niro’s hat trick tally would come less than a minute later, making it a 12-6 game. O’Brien scored 36 seconds later, completing a four-goal run by Tech and putting them up by seven.
After Shughrue scored, Niro, answered with her fourth of the night to put the Panthers up 14-7. LaFerriere scored with 1:54 to go in the third, cutting the Panthers lead to six. She would score again to start the fourth quarter, making it 14-9.
A yellow card on Florida Tech with 11:30 left in the game helped Flagler get a goal as Kate Piscopomade it 14-10. Minton scored twice on the man-down 33 seconds apart, putting the Panthers up six.
Shughrue got one back for the Saints before another yellow card on Tech with more than six minutes left. Two man-up goals made it 16-13 before McLeod got her hat trick goal to put the Panthers up by four.
Daziel and Shughrue scored their third and fourth goals of the night 1:40 apart to cut the deficit to 17-15, but the Panthers hung on for the win.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Flagler Box Score
Florida Tech will host Findlay on March 1, in the home opener at Florida Tech Panther Stadium. The opening draw is set for 7:00 p.m.