03/28/13 — Limestone pulls away in 4th period

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Limestone pulls away in 4th period

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 28, 2013 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College didn't flinch each time nationally-ranked Limestone (S.C.) College built a multiple-goal advantage on Wednesday afternoon.

But the Trojans could never close the gap.

The Saints, ranked No. 3 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, punched in four straight goals during a 41/2-minute span in the fourth period and claimed a 14-9 victory at Amon Field.

Limestone (9-1 overall) remained unbeaten in three Conference Carolinas outings this season and improved to 32-1 all-time against league opposition since 2007.

"We didn't back down at all," first-year MOC head coach Mike Murphy said. "We came out, we hit hard, we fought for ground balls and kept pressure on them. We didn't roll over and die. We're a first-year program, but we don't play like one.

"We're aggressive, we're hard-nosed and we'll fight every minute of the game."

Daniel Shields and Jake Duarte notched two goals apiece for the Trojans, who had their school-record four-game win streak snapped. Matt Shields provided two goals and an assist.

Jake Hancock, Alex Tindall, Spencer Galinas and Nick Sanderson each supplied one goal for Mount Olive. Keeper Rocky Bowman logged 14 saves between the pipes and the Trojans' defense limited the Saints to just two goals on four man-up opportunities.

"They have several All-Americans as their shooters and as a freshman goalie, I thought he responded very well," Murphy said of Bowman. "I think it was his best game of the season."

The Saints scored 35 seconds into the opening period and notched their second goal five minutes later. The Trojans pulled to within 3-2 on goals from Gelinas and Duarte.

Limestone led 7-5 at halftime and extended its margin to 10-6 after three periods. Mount Olive, which played a deliberate-paced offense, endured a 71/2-minute scoring drought in the second period and went 12-plus minutes without a goal in the third.

Duarte's goal off Matt Shield's assist early in the fourth period trimmed the deficit to 10-7 before the Saints put the game away.

"They have a heavy senior-ladened team with a lot of good shooters who have played together, and they know where they're going to be before they get there," Murphy said. "They have a lot of comfortability. We're still feeling each other out, we're getting there and we'll get to their level soon."

Limestone lost to Dowling (N.Y.) in the NCAA Division II national championship game last season. The Saints have played for seven national titles since 2000, and won twice in 2000 and 2002.