LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College women's lacrosse continued its early-season dominance with a convincing 15-6 win over No. 10 Queens (NC) on Thursday at Moccasin Field. The No. 1 Moccasins (7-0) used 10 second-half goals to overcome an uncharacteristically slow start and power past the Royals (1-4) for their 22nd straight regular-season victory.
Meghan O'Brien led all players with four goals, while three more Moccasins scored twice. In all, eight different players found the back of the net for Florida Southern, while freshman goalkeeper Mary Gately made six saves on the afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern got on the board first when Emily Santoli scored on a man-up opportunity from a free position just over two minutes into the contest and took a 2-0 lead five minutes later when Sarah Grady scored from a free position. However, Queens responded with two-straight goals to tie things up at 2-2 with 17:32 to play in the first half. Florida Southern responded quickly when Casey O'Brien and Gracie Maganzini each scored within four minutes of each other to give the Mocs a 4-2 edge at the 12:32 mark.
• The Royal were able to pull within one when Ally Blood scored one of her two goals with 10:06 on the clock, but Shannon Mazza gave the Mocs some breathing room just before halftime when she converted a free-position shot with 2:27 to go to give FSC a 5-3 lead at the half.
• The Moccasins wasted no time in expanding their lead in the second half as Grady and Santoli scored just 30 seconds apart to open a 7-3 lead with 22:22 left to play. Queens was able to pull back within three (7-4) with a goal three minutes later, but Florida Southern ripped off a 6-0 run over the next 11 minutes to turn a three-goal advantage into an insurmountable 13-4 lead. Meghan O'Brien scored two of her game-high four goals during the scoring run, while Mazza, Shannon Gilfedder, Catherine DeKorte and Riley Bannatyne also found the back of the net.
• Both sides would score twice more in the final six minutes of action to make the final 15-6. Meghan O'Brien took seven shots, six on goal, while also dishing out an assist. Grady, Mazza, and Santoli each scored twice, while Santoli grabbed 12 draw controls. Sam Keesey finished with eight caused turnovers, and Sarah Rheinsmith snagged four ground balls.
• The Moccasins outshot the Royals 37-16 and won 17-of-23 draw controls. Florida Southern also finished with the edge in ground balls (27-20) and was a perfect 21-of-21 in clear attempts while forcing Queens into 24 turnovers. The final margin of victory could have been much larger, but the Mocs converted just 4-of-11 free-position shots.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to a perfect 7-0 all-time against Queens, including a 4-0 record when facing the Royals at home. The Moccasins' last regular-season loss came on Feb. 26, 2017 in a 14-11 defeat at Lindenwood. In addition to their 22-straight regular-season wins, Florida Southern has now won 18-straight home games dating back to last year.
• The Moccasins have won six straight regular-season games against nationally-ranked opponents, including two this year.
• Florida Southern will host No. 9 Mercy on Saturday at 1 p.m. and will face McKendree on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. to cap off an eight-game homestand. The Mocs open Sunshine State Conference action at Florida Tech on March 24.