MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Lacrosse) – Florida Tech won two games, none in conference play, during its inaugural season in 2012. On Saturday, the Panthers defeated Rollins, 9-5, to begin their 2013 campaign with two consecutive wins in Deep South Conference action.
“We won two games all of last year and now we are 2-0 to begin the season,” head coach Ryan McAleavey said. “It is great, especially when you get wins in conference play.”
Florida Tech (2-0, 2-0 DSC) went a man down just three minutes into the contest to give Rollins (0-2, 0-1 DSC) an opportunity to strike first. But the Panthers killed off the minute-long penalty and responded five minutes later with a goal.
Sophomore Christian Isola netted his third goal of the season to give FIT a 1-0 lead with 7:06 remaining in the first quarter. Freshman Brian Bacarella set up Isola for the game’s first goal.
The Tars tied the game at 1-1 three minutes later, but Bacarella responded with his four goal of the season, unassisted, to give the Panthers the lead right back.
In the second quarter, FIT scored four unanswered goals to take a 6-1 halftime lead. The Panthers held Rollins to just three second-quarter shots.
Senior Matt Durand opened the four-goal period on a pass from Bacarella, and then freshman Alex Carlson tallied back-to-back goals from Isola and Andrew Conley. Bacarella capped the run with his second goal of the first half on a feed from Carlson.
The Panthers pushed their lead to 8-2 to begin the third quarter on goals by Conley and Mike Marshner. But then the Tars put together an offensive attack.
Rollins cut the deficit to 8-3 before the end of the third quarter and then received a man-up opportunity as the quarter ended.
It took just 12 seconds for the Tars to strike on the power play to being the four quarter, cutting FIT’s lead to 8-4. Two minutes later Rollins trailed 8-5.
The score remained 8-5 over the next 10 minutes of the final quarter. And then the Panthers extended their lead to five goals.
With 2:14 left in regulation, Carlson set up Bacarella for FIT’s ninth goal of the game. The freshman duo ended the game with a combined five goals and four assists. Bacarella recorded three goals and two assists for the second-straight game.
“Brian [Bacarella] is a special player,” McAleavey said. “He put up three goals and two assists in consecutive games against tough opponents.”
Rollins was unable to get a final attack with its goalie receiving a delay of game penalty with 32 second remaining to all but seal the Panthers’ second-straight victory in conference play.
Junior Eric Biller (2-0) recorded seven saves turn earn his second victory for the Crimson and Gray.
FIT will travel to Tampa on Wednesday, Feb. 20 for a third consecutive DSC contest. Tampa is coming off a 7-5 loss to Limestone on Friday. The Panthers and Spartans will square off at 7 p.m.