FGCU Knocks Off Kennesaw State & Reinhardt
The Florida Gulf Coast University Men’s Lacrosse Club won two hard fought games on the road against SELC opponents Kennesaw State University and Reinhardt University this past weekend. FGCU fell behind early in both matches but they were able to climb out of the deficits with solid second half offensive and defensive play. Missing from the action were defensive impact players Matt VanKeuren (Junior/Tequesta, FL) and Brian Lindback (Sophomore/ Tavernier, FL) who were both sidelined by the stomach flu. Eagles Curtis Mere (Freshman/Ft. Myers, FL), Tyler Esposito (Senior/Ft. Myers, FL), Matt Downs (Junior/Tequesta, FL) and goalie-turned-defenseman Mark Bell (Junior/Columbus, NJ) were among those who really stepped up their defensive play to help fill the void. Eagles goalie Tyler Morrone (Sophomore/Baldwin, NY) played a critical role in both victories posting 16 saves against Kennesaw and 21 saves in the Reinhardt game.
In their first matchup verses Kennesaw State, the Eagles looked unpolished early on and were scoreless in the first quarter. Kennesaw held a slim one point lead at the end of the quarter. FCGU attackman Conner Ramage (Junior/Boca Raton, FL) answered quickly at the beginning of the second period to post the Eagles first score of the game. It would be one of two goals scored by Ramage during the match. FGCU went into the half down by one goal. The Eagles came out gunning in the third quarter and scored two quick goals taking their first lead of the game and setting the tone for the remainder of the contest. FGCU found their groove and their defensive play shined, holding Kennesaw State scoreless in the third period. The Eagles notched two more goals before the end of the quarter making it FGCU 5 – KSU 2. FGCU’s scoring run continued in the final period with three more goals highlighted by the play of attackman Vinny Valentine (Junior/Buffalo, NY) and midfielder Danny Meyer (Sophomore/Jupiter, FL.). FGCU won the match with a final score of 8 to 3.
The Eagles got off to a similar start the following day when they squared off against Reinhardt University. Gulf Coast looked a little sluggish throughout the first two periods of play and found themselves trailing at halftime by a score of FGCU 2 – RU 4. Attackman Charles Porter (Sophomore/Islamorada, FL) provided the spark FGCU needed early in the third quarter by notching back-to-back goals, the second score was the result of a perfect feed from teammate Danny Meyer. The score was tied, FGCU 4 – RU 4. The Eagles scoring run continued with an assist from midfielder Kevin Meyer (Freshman/Jupiter, FL) to Chase Hilderbrand (Junior/Ft. Myers, FL), which put Gulf Coast up by one goal. It was one of two goals for Hilderbrand during the game. Kevin Meyer quickly factored into the next possession with a feed to attackman Eric Anderson (Junior/Ft. Myers, FL) who buried a shot in the net putting FGCU up by two points. Face-off man Tommy Twyford (Junior/North Palm Beach, FL) assisted Chase Hilderbrand with the Eagles seventh goal. Danny Meyer soon followed by notching goal number eight for the Eagles. It was the sixth unanswered goal for FGCU. Reinhardt was only able to muster one goal in the fourth period of play. FGCU went on to score three more times. The final score was FGCU 11 – RU 5.
Next on Florida Gulf Coast’s schedule is in-state rival the University of Miami. The game is set for Saturday, March 30th, 2 p.m. at FGCU.