St. Leo, FL—North Greenville gave #17 St. Leo all it could handle on Thursday afternoon but came up just short as the Lions escaped with a 9-7 victory.
The Crusaders struck first as Alex Proly scored with 11:38 on the first period clock to take a 1-0 lead. The Lions responded with a trio of scores including the opening goal of the second period to gain a 3-1 edge over North Greenville.
Proly tacked on his second score of the game in the second quarter with an assist from Blake Thompson but Proly’s second goal of the first half capped North Greenville’s scoring for before half. The Lions added two more scores in the closing minutes to take a 5-2 edge at intermission.
The Lead ballooned to 7-2 early on in the third before Jake Foster added NGU’s third goal of the game to cut the deficit to four. The goal from Foster sparked a quick spurt from North Greenville with Austin Dixon finding success on a pass from Dawson Long, cutting into the lead even further.
North Greenville kept up the offensive head all game, finishing with 23-shots on goal. The Lions keeper Thomas Tatarain finished the day with 16-saves to keep NGU’s attack in check just enough to secure the win. NGU goalie Braeden Dixon turned in a solid performance for NGU in the cage with 11-saves on 20 shots faced.
The Lions answered NGU’s two goals with a pair of their own to take a 9-4 lead with 10:48 left in the game. The Crusaders continued pressing the Lions on the offensive side of the field though. Hunter Burgett scored with 7:09 left on the clock to dig NGU a little further out of the hole while Proly’s third of the game pulled the Crusaders to within three.
Ethan Landreth pulled the Crusaders even closer with 4-minutes left with his only goal of the game that made the score 9-7 in favor of St. Leo. The Crusaders would come up just short in the end, but not from a lack of effort. NGU fired off a pair of shots around the three minute mark, but St. Leo goalie came up with a save while the defense came up with a block to put the game away.
Proly finished the day as NGU’s offensive leader with three goals. Zach Randolph led the team with two caused turnovers while Jake Foster finished with six groundballs. Proly led the team with seven groundball pickups.
The Crusaders fell to 5-2 on the season but will have little time to dwell on Thursday’s loss with a meeting against 20th ranked Rollins scheduled for Saturday. North Greenville will take on the Tars at 1pm in Winter Park, Florida.