LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College men's lacrosse rallied back from an early deficit to stun No. 4 Colorado Mesa, 12-9, at Moccasin Field on Saturday afternoon. The Moccasins (4-3) saw the Mavericks (7-2) pull out to an 2-0 lead in the opening 34 seconds of the game, but Kevin Dyer scored three goals in a five-minute span to spark a 4-0 run and give the Mocs a 5-3 lead in the second quarter. The teams would head to the locker room tied 5-5 at the half, but Florida Southern outscored the Mavericks 4-1 in the third quarter and goalkeeper Mike Greco made a handful of crucial saves late in the fourth to preserve the lead.
Dyer led the Mocs with five goals while Dalton Simpson, Liam Winwood, and Lucas Claude all scored a pair of goals. Carson Wallace also found the back of the net and Greco made 17 saves in goal for the Moccasins, who picked up their first-ever win over a top-five opponent.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Colorado Mesa quickly pulled out to a 2-0 lead but thanks to goals from Simpson and Dyer the Moccasins pulled to within one of the Mavericks (3-2) by the end of the quarter. The Mocs fired off 10 shots on goal in the first frame to the Mavericks six shots on goal.
• Thanks to a pair of goals by Dyer and another goal by Simpson, the Moccasins opened the second quarter on a 3-0 run to jump out to a 5-3 lead. The Mavericks would score twice in the second, but Greco was outstanding in net, making six saves as the Mocs held the Mavericks off the board for the final five and half minutes of the first half to make it 5-5 at the break.
• The third quarter is where the Moccasins would make their move, outscoring Colorado Mesa 4-1 to steal momentum and build a 9-6 lead after three quarters of play. Winwood put the Mocs up for the final time in the game at 10:42 in the third, and Dyer would fire one past the Colorado Mesa goalie just 30 seconds later to make it 7-5. The Mavericks would pull within one (7-6) at the 4:26 mark of the third, but Dyer and Carson Wallace would score in the final four minutes of action to put FSC up 9-6 at the end of the third.
• In the fourth quarter, it was Greco who would be the difference maker. Although both teams scored three times, Greco made seven saves in a back-and-fourth quarter to keep the Mocs in front by at least two goals for the entire fourth period of action. He would finish the night with 17 saves, while Alex Dagen (4) and Max Burgio (3) came up huge on defense for seven combined caused turnovers. The Moccasins were outshot 40-36, but were able to maintain possession for much of the game by completing 19-of-20 clear attempts.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Saturday's win evened the all-time series at 2-2. In all four games the Moccasins have been the home team, going 1-2 against the Mavericks at Bryant Stadium and 1-0 at the brand-new Moccasin Field.
• Both teams turned over the ball 15 times. The Mavericks outshot the Mocs 40-36 and won 13 of the 25 face-offs.
• Kevin Horwitz finished with 10 or more faceoff wins for the fifth time this season, while Austen Lison led the Moccasins with a game-best six ground balls.
• Florida Southern's win marked the first time that the Mocs have ever defeated a top-five opponent. The Mocs' best win prior to Saturday was a 9-0 overtime victory against No. 7 Mars Hill on March 19, 2011
• Florida Southern will open Sunshine State Conference at home on March 24 against Palm Beach Atlantic before hosting Alabama-Huntsville (arch 28) in the final non-conference contest of the season. The Mocs will then hit the road for a pair of games at Lynn (3/31) and Tampa (4/4).