Florida Southern Holds Off Molloy to Open Season
from press release
LAKELAND, Fla. – It came down to the last possession but 15th-ranked Florida Southern (1-0) was able to hang on and defeat Molloy (1-1) by a score of 12-11 in the Moccasins' season-opener here at Bryant Stadium.
For the first 15 minutes of the game the Mocs were seemingly in control opening up a 7-1 advantage on the Lions, who were taking on FSC after opening the season with a 11-7 win against Saint Leo, this past Friday night.
Sophomore Caitlin Chase (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) would be the first Moc to score in the 2013 season as she put the Mocs on the board approximately four minutes into the game. Chase was actually a part of the first three goals scored by FSC as she assisted on freshman Taylor Oliver's (Finksburg, Md.) goal that made the score 2-0 and then scored her second of three goals to make it 3-0.
The Mocs would give up their first goal of the season 11 minutes into the game but FSC countered back with another short run of four straight goals pushing the lead 7-1.
After being down 7-1, Molloy would use three straight goals by Codi Reiser, over a span of two minutes, to cut the Mocs lead in half, 7-4. Chase would then score the last Moc goal of the first half before the Lions' Alexa Toscano ended the half with two goals for Molloy. Those two goals cut the Mocs halftime lead to only two as FSC led 8-6 at the break.
Much like the first half the Mocs came out looking to score, opening the second half with two quick goals by sophomores Katie Ferree (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Megan Asper (Parkton, Md.); stretching the lead to 10-6.
However, the Lions would quickly negate those two goals by scoring twice themselves as they would score five of the next six goals in the second half, en route to tying the game at 11-11 with 2:29 left in the game.
After losing the ensuing draw control the Mocs were able to get the ball back when senior Danielle LaDuca (Warners, New York) caused a Lion turnover and picked up the ground ball. From there the Mocs had a little over two minutes to find a way to score. LaDuca again came through in the clutch, she received a pass from senior Mara Mason (Rochester, New York) in front of the goal to put in the winning shot with 26 seconds left on the clock. The play was set up by a Lion foul that put Mason on the eight-meter arc.
Moccasin goalkeeper, sophomore, Lindsay Holdway (Fraser, Mich.), had nine saves on the afternoon but none was timelier than the one on the final possession. With less than 15 seconds left Molloy would receive the ball after a turnover by the Mocs. It looked like the Mocs would be able to hold on and win the game but Asper was given a yellow-card with 1.5 seconds left on the game-clock. With an almost clear path to the goal, Molloy's Kaitlyn Kelly fired off one more shot as time-expired but Holdway was there to stop the shot, preserving the win for the Mocs.
Leading the offensive charge for the Mocs was Chase who notched five points on three goals scored and two assists. Taylor Oliver who was playing in her first game as a Moccasin tallied three goals as well. Mason who assisted on the winning-goal had a team-high four assists.
Earning her first career-victory was Holdway. She played in eight games last season but never was recorded for a victory or loss. Holdway played a stellar career-high 60 minutes recording nine saves and allowing 11 goals. Freshman Rachael Griffith (Ellicott City, Md.) picked up a game-high five ground balls.
With the loss on the afternoon was Laura Vetter, who gave up six goals before leaving early in the game after a collision with a couple players around the goal
The Lions were led by Toscano who tallied a total of eight points, five assists and three goals.
The Mocs will now go on a two-game road trip to North Carolina as they play Pfeiffer, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. and Queens (NC) Feb. 28 at 4 p.m.