SALISBURY, NC - Six different players tallied at least two goals as Florida Southern College women's lacrosse dominated Catawba, 24-6, in the 2018 season opener on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium. The No. 2 Moccasins (1-0) won their second-straight regular-season opener and improved to 2-0 all-time against the Indians (0-1). Emily Santoli led Florida Southern with four goals, while four other players recorded a hat trick.
The Mocs will stay on the road and head to Greenville, TN tomorrow for an 11 a.m. contest at Tusculum. Florida Southern opens its home slate at the brand-new Moccasin field when it takes on No. 1 Adelphi in the most highly-anticipated early matchup of the season at 12 p.m. on Feb. 17.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern poured it on early and left no doubt as it struck for seven goals in the first nine minutes of play. Shannon Gilfedder got the Mocs on the board just 28 seconds into the first half thanks to a beautiful feed from Ashley Norberg. Sarah Grady scored just 16 seconds later to make it 2-0, and Marina Jozokos and Dani Bursinger also scored 12 seconds apart in the fourth minute of play to make it 4-0. Catherine DeKorte converted on a man-up opportunity three minutes later, and Grady and Aubrey Benedetto would score to make it 7-0 with 21:01 to play in the first.
• Catawba was able to find the back of the net at the 19:21 mark to make it 7-1, but the Mocs responded with a pair of goals to push the lead to eight (9-1). The Indians struck for back-to-back goals midway through the half to slice the deficit to six (9-3), but the Moccasins scored six-straight goals to end the half and take a 15-3 lead into the locker room. Bursinger and Santoli each scored twice in the final 12 minutes of the half, while DeKorte and Jozokos each tallied another goal.
• The second half was more of the same as the Moccasins outscored the Indians 9-3 over the final 30 minutes of play. Catawba scored the first goal of the second half, but Florida Southern answered with five in a row to jump out to a 20-4 lead when Julia Couch scored with 14:46 to play. The Indians struck again with 10:24 to go, but the Mocs again scored the next five goals before Catawba scored the final goal of the game in the final minute of action.
• Florida Southern outshot Catawba 46-13 and each team picked up 19 ground balls. The Moccasins won 27-of-30 draw controls and converted 10-of-12 free-position shots, whole finishing 13-of-15 on clear attempts. The Indians converted just 14-of-29 clear attempts and committed 22 turnovers. Alanna Zambetti and Mary Gately each played one half in goal and combined to make four saves. Santoli led all scorers with four goals, while Benedetto, Bursinger, DeKorte, and Jozokos each tallied three goals. Couch and Grace Glinecki tied for a team-best two assists, Caitlyn Hutchings had three ground ball pickups, and DeKorte won 11 draw controls.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern won its second-straight season opener and improved to 6-1 all-time in season-opening games. The Moccasins are 2-0 all-time against Catawba. The victory was the 99th victory in program history, all of which have come under head coach Kara Reber.
• The Mocs have won 19 of their last 20 games and have not lost a road contest since a 14-11 loss at No. 5 Lindenwood on Feb. 26, 2017.
• The Moccasins head to Tusculum for an 11 a.m. game on Sunday, and return home to face No. 1 Adelphi in the first-ever game at the brand-new Moccasin Field at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17.