February 17, 2013

Limestone Pulls Out 7-5 Win Over Saint Leo

from press release

SAINT LEO, Fla. — A four-goal fourth quarter and outstanding defense helped lead Limestone (2-0, 0-0 CC) to a hard fought 7-5 victory at Saint Leo (0-2, 0-0 DSC) in an NCAA Division II men's lacrosse game on Sunday, February 17.

Trailing 4-3 entering the fourth quarter, Limestone quickly took care of their one-goal deficit as Loewen took it himself just 40 seconds in and tied the game at 4-4. Just 5:26 later, after stellar defense held the Lions in check, Tor Reinholdt connected with Zach Cummings on a man-up goal that put the Saints back in front at 5-4.

It would be nearly another five minutes before the Saints found the back of the net but when they did, they did so in quick succession. Loewen scorched the back of the net at the 2:59 mark and Nakasuji connected just 37 seconds later to push the lead to a back-breaking 7-4. Corey Rich assisted on both goals in key moments of the game. With 14 seconds left on the clock, Tom Horn came away with an unassisted score to reach the final margin of 7-5 as Limestone moved to 2-0 on the year.

Senior attack Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) drilled a game-high three goals and had three groundballs to lead the Saints effort while senior midfielder Zach Cummings (Crownsville, Md.) delivered a pair of goals, including the eventual game winner. Setting up nearly half of Limestone's goals was senior attack Corey Rich (Sacramento, Calif.) who finished with three on the day.

Junior attack Todd Nakasuji (Ajax, Ontario, Canada) and freshman midfielder Vinny Ricci (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) each had a goal and an assist with Ricci adding a pair of groundballs. Senior midfielder Tor Reinholdt (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) added an assist and two groundballs.

Senior goalkeeper Christian Dzwileski (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) played all 60 minutes, allowing just five goals and making 11 saves to move to 2-0 on the year. Senior face-off specialist Jake Ternosky (LaFayette, N.Y.) dominated at the center "X", taking 10 of his 15 attempts and notching a game-high five groundballs.

In what was a grind it out type game from the very beginning, Limestone was the first to get on the board as Ricci took a pass from Rich and found the back of the net to make it 1-0 at the 8:30 mark of the first half. That, however, would be the only score of the opening quarter, and the last in the first half for the Saints, as Saint Leo cranked up their defense.

The Lions also gained some traction on offense as Matt Obermeyer delivered the tying goal off a pass from Kevin Hutchinson with 6:02 to play in the half. It would not stay deadlocked at 1-1 for very long as Saint Leo's Tom Horn took advantage of a man-up opportunity, drilling the go-ahead goal off a pass from Obermeyer at the 2:06 mark. The teams would head to the break with the Lions holding a 2-1 advantage.

Coming out of the half, it was the explosive Limestone offense's turn to make an impact. With just 4:30 gone by in the third quarter, Nakasuji hit Loewen with a pass that he promptly rifled past Lions' keeper Dave Moore to even the score at 2-2. Much like Saint Leo in the second, the score wouldn't stay that way long as Zach Cummings delivered the go-ahead goal off a pass from Ricci to give the Saints a 3-2 lead with 7:41 left in the quarter.

In the final three minutes of the frame, Connor McBride and Miachael Mastracchio answered back for the Lions with back-to-back goals at 2:49 and with just one second on the clock, respectively, to head to the fourth with a narrow 4-3 advantage. That set the stage for Limestone's outstanding offensive and defensive efforts over the final 15 minutes.

Tom Horn led the way for Saint Leo with a pair of scores while Connor McBride, Matt Obermeyer and Michael Mastracchio each had solo goals on the day. Obermeyer added an assist as did Ryan Burke and Kevin Hutchinson. John Laronga and Ray Ferrara each had three groundballs to round out the Lion's top performers

Limestone returns to Gaffney, S.C. for their home opener on Saturday, February 23 as they host No. 1 Dowling in a rematch of the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship Game. Faceoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Saints Field.

Limestone is now 6-0 all-time against Saint Leo, dating back to the first meeting on March 21, 2007 ... the Saints two-goal victory represents the second closest decision in the series history ... Limestone posted an 11-10 victory on March 21, 2009 in Saint Leo when the Lions were No. 10 in the country ... the other four meetings have all been decided by six goals or more with a high of 16 (21-5) on March 26, 2011

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