via press release – photo via FIT web site
LAKELAND, Fla. (Women’s Lacrosse) – Caroline Dunleavy recorded a career-best 11 points and No. 6 seed Florida Tech earned a convincing 17-10 victory over 3-seed East Stroudsburg in the First Round of the NCAA Division II Women’s Lacrosse South Region Tournament.
The victory is the first in NCAA Tournament play in women’s lacrosse program history. FIT now moves on to face familiar foe, No. 2 seed Florida Southern in the Second Round game on Saturday in a rematch of the Sunshine State Conference Championship Game.
Dunleavy tallied seven goals and four assists, both game-highs, to lead the Crimson and Gray. Allie Modica notched three goals and two assists, to go along with 10 draw controls and five ground balls, both game-highs.
Sam Schiano scored a hat trick to go along with one assist. Mary Gormley and Sara Grenier contributed two goals and an assist, apiece. Stephanie Stuart was impressive in the cage, making 11 saves on 21 shots faced.
FIT finished with more shots, 35-27, and ground balls, 20-11, while the Warriors collected more draw controls, 17-12.
The Panthers fell behind early as ESU’s Alicia Stratten scored the opening goal just 51 seconds into the game. FIT answered quickly on a goal by Modica 41 seconds later. However, Stratten gave the Warriors back the lead on a free position score with 28:21 remaining in the first half.
Dunleavy’s second of the game kicked off a 5-0 run that gave FIT a 6-2 advantage with just over 20 minutes left in the period. Stratten cut ESU’s deficit to 7-4 as she tallied two of the next three goals of the contest.
The Panthers proceeded to score the next five goals of the half and took a 12-4 edge into the break.
Dunleavy’s fifth goal of the game gave FIT a 13-4 lead to open the second half. However, the Warriors fought their way back, scoring five of the next seven goals to decrease the margin to six, 15-9.
Leah Dunn found Dunleavy on the crease for her final goal of the game, to push the Panthers’ lead to 16-9. After Emma Rufolo netted a shot for ESU, Gormley put the icing on the cake with a free position goal with 5:21 remaining.
The Panthers will have a short time to celebrate as they square off with Florida Southern on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET at Bryant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. The Moccasins defeated FIT twice this season, 12-11 in overtime on Apr. 1 and 20-12 in the SSC Title Game on Apr. 30, both meetings took place at Bryant Stadium.
Fans can access links to live coverage of the NCAA Second Round game at FloridaTechSports.com.