Nine Goal First Half Propels Mocs to 13-4 Home Win Over Gannon

Nine Goal First Half Propels Mocs to 13-4 Home Win Over Gannon

LAKELAND - Florida Southern continued its seven game homestand to open the 2016 season here Wednesday evening as the 13th-ranked Moccasins scored nine first half goals en route to posting a 13-4 victory over Gannon (Pa.) at Bryant Stadium.

It was the second straight game the Mocs scored double-digit goals as they scored 10 in its last action on Feb. 22 at home against top-ranked Adelphi. The 13 goals on Wednesday were a season high for the Moccasins, who are now 1-2 on the season. 

Junior attacker Kendall Kerge (Edgewater, Md.) led the way offensively for the Mocs with three goals, while a trio of players finished with two goals led by sophomore midfielder Emily Santoli (Fort Salonga, N.Y.). In addition to Santoli, the other Mocs that recorded two goals on the night were sophomore attacker Shannon Gilfedder (Longwood, Fla.) and freshman attacker Casey O'Brien (Morris Plains, N.J.).

After Gannon scored the game's first goal on just a little over two minutes into the contest, the Mocs, though, would reel off seven straight goals in a span of 12 minutes to take a 7-2 lead. 

Kerge, who was named this week's Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week, got the Mocs on the scoreboard nearly four minutes into the game as she took a pass from sophomore attacker Meghan O'Brien (Rochester, N.Y.) and found some space for her ninth goal of the season. 

Gilfedder scored an unassisted goal five minutes into the opening half to give the Mocs a 2-1 lead. Goals by both Meghan O'Brien and Casey O'Brien pushed FSC's lead to 4-1. 

Santoli then would score two consecutive goals, both off assists from sophomore attacker Cayla Shawfield (Oviedo, Fla.) to push the Mocs lead to 6-1 with 19 minutes left in the first half. 

Kerge would add her second goal of the game with 14:22 left in the opening half to give the Mocs an insurmountable lead. 

After Gannon's Tessa Mitchell scored with 13:50 left in the first half to drop FSC's lead to 7-2, the Mocs would use goals from freshman midfielder Grace Maganzini (Wolfeboro, N.H.) and freshman attack Dani Bursinger (Powell, Ohio) to push its lead to 9-2 with 1:03 left in the opening half. 

Gannon (1-1) would snap the Moccasins' run by scoring a goal on a free position shot by Ashley Mozingo with 12 seconds left in the half. Mozingo's goal cut the Mocs lead to 9-3 at halftime. 

FSC would open the second half by scoring three consecutive goals to push its lead to 12-3.

Kerge opened the scoring in the second half as she tallied her third goal of the game just 42 seconds into the second half, before Casey O'Brien scored her second goal with 22:41 left in the game and Gilfedder would tally her second goal of the game nearly three minutes after O'Brien's score.

The Knights, who are playing at Saint Leo on Thursday, would find the goal for the fourth time on a free position shot by Becky Hilker with 6:39 left in the game.

FSC would complete the scoring on an unassisted goal by freshman midfielder Sam Keesey (Bel Air, Md.) with 3:03 remaining. The goal by Keesey was the first of her collegiate career.  

For the game, the Mocs outshot the Knights, 37-12, including holding a 21-5 edge on shots in the first half. In addition, the Mocs had 29 shots on goal to just 12 by Gannon. 

Santoli led the way with nine shots on the night, while Gilfedder had  five and Bursinger added four. 

The Mocs caused 20 turnovers on the night, including four by senior defender Gabby Barowski (Alexandria, Va.) and three apiece from Santoli, senior defender Nicole Bellini (Winter Park, Fla.) and freshman defender Kelsey O'Connor (West Babylon, N.Y.). 

FSC also collected 27 ground balls on the night and won eight draw controls. The Knights had 20 ground balls and 11 draw controls. 

Barowski and O'Connor each had four while Santoli and Bellini each had three in the victory. 

Mitchell had four of Gannon's 12 shots on the night and also had five draw controls. Leilani King picked up four of her team's 20 ground balls and caused three turnovers in the loss. 

Sophomore Paige Brodbeck (1-1) earned the win in goal for the Mocs as she played the first half and allowed just three goals and had no saves, while junior Taylor Gillis (Bel Air, Md.) played the final 30 minutes and recorded four saves to go along with allowing one goal. 

Alexis Strouse (1-1) went the distance for the Knights in goal on Wednesday as she allowed 13 goals and had 16 saves in the loss. 

The game featured a combined 61 turnovers as Gannon had 37 turnovers and the Mocs finished with 24. 

FSC will return to action on Saturday, March 5 as they host 14th-ranked Mount Olive in a 1 p.m. game at Bryant Stadium.