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No. 16 Panthers Nipped by No. 2 Tampa in Double-OT

The Tampa Spartans (6-0) only led once in Saturday’s men’s lacrosse shootout, winning 11-10 over the Florida Tech Panthers (4-3) in double overtime. This was a regional contest with the conference matchup slated for later in the season.

Harry Kilkowski scored his second goal of the day with seven seconds left in the second overtime, giving the Second-ranked Spartans the come-from-behind victory.

“So proud of the way our young men competed today,” said Panthers coach Brad MacArthur by email after the game. “Coming off the trip to Maryland we were a little beat up but we had a solid week of practice with no excuses.”

Collin Stewart led the Panthers with six points, on five goals and an assist and Justin Williams had two goals and an assist as he was the only other Panther with multiple goals. Tampa got two goals each by Luke McAnaney, Colin White, and Kilkowski. Charlie Bolesh added three assists for the Spartans.

The Panthers got off to a fast start in this one, as Stewart and Williams made it 2-0 with 10:34 to go. Tampa’s first shot came with 9:39 to go in the first quarter and their first shot on goal came 1:58 later. Andrew Ward and Bennett Duffy made it 4-0, with assists from Stewart and Williams respectively.

Tampa got on the board with 24 seconds left in the quarter, as White beat Panthers goalie John Hulsman to cut the Panthers lead to 4-1 at the end of the first quarter. Hulsman made one save, while Tampa goalie Blake Ulmer made two.

The second quarter was a defensive one, as both goalies shined. Stewart scored with 3:13 left and McAnaney made it 5-2, 28 seconds later. Both goalies ended the first half with six saves and the Panthers held a three-goal lead.

In the third quarter, the scoring picked back up as Stewart got his hat trick goal to make it 6-2. Kilkowski and Daniel Fitzpatrick scored about a minute and a half apart to close the gap to 6-4.

Nate Deplancke and White traded goals 3:10 apart and it was 7-5 with 5:46 to go. After Tampa made it 7-6, Williams got his second of the day for the Panthers to extend the lead to two with 3:38 to go in the quarter. The Panthers couldn’t beat the clock as they got one past Ulmer just after the buzzer, keeping the score 8-6 heading into the fourth quarter.

Matthew Beddow and Stewart scored less than a minute apart, making it 9-7. Bolesh had a goal and assisted on McAnaney’s tally, tying the game at nine.

Stewart would give the Panthers a 10-9 lead with his fifth of the day, coming with 6:31 left in regulation. Fitzpatrick would tie things up with 5:50 left and Duffy had a great chance with 12 seconds left. Ulmer was up to the task and sent this game to overtime.

Hulsman came up with his 10th save of the day in the first OT, but he allowed the game-winner to Kilkowski on what was a good shot and gave the #2 Spartans the win.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Tampa Box Score

“Coaches (Zach) Wynne and (Ray) Banister had the respective offense and defensive games dialed in,” said MacArthur. “We thought our guys responded and carried themselves well. We were just short. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

This was a close game on the scoreboard as well as statistically. Florida Tech outshot Tampa 43-39 and shots on goal, 28-21. Ground balls went in favor of Tampa, 47-37. Florida Tech finished 26-for-28 on clears and Tampa went 28-for-30.

The Panthers will return home on March 23 to take on Colorado Mesa in “The Backyard”. Opening faceoff is set for 4:00 p.m.