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Lacrosse (M)

Men's Lacrosse Upsets #10 Mars Hill in DSC Semifinals

MARS HILL, NC -- Catawba goalie Michael Pecchia (Coquitlam, BC, CANADA/Heritage Woods HS) posted 25 saves to help Catawba knock off 10th-ranked Mars Hill 9-7 in the semifinals of the Deep South Conference Men’s Lacrosse Tournament on Thursday night at Meares Stadium.  The Catawba Indians improve to 13-2, setting a school record for wins in a season.  The Lions fall to 11-3.

It marked the second straight year the Indians had topped the North’s top-seed to advance to the final.  The win sets up a rematch of last years final between Catawba and Florida Southern, an 11-7 victor over Tampa.  The tournament championship game will be held on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Mars Hill.

Catawba had been defeated easily by Mars Hill in the regular season match-up, trailing 13-2 at one point before falling 16-10.  On Thursday, Pecchia, who missed the first game with an injury, stopped nine shots in the first quarter as Catawba led 2-1.  Mars Hill took the lead with a pair of goals early in the second quarter and held a 5-4 edge at the break following a tally by Ryan Sage just 29 seconds before the half.

The Indians took charge in the third quarter with three unanswered goals.  John Scheich (Waxhaw, NC/Weddington HS) and Tom Cullop (New Windsor, MD/S. Carroll HS) scored 45 seconds apart to give the Indians a lead with 8:41 to go in the third quarter.  Catawba went on to add three more goals in the five-goal spurt that pushed the margin to 9-5 with 7:13 remaining.  Cade Zulak scored twice for the Lions in the final five minutes, but the Indians had built a cushion that Mars Hill could not overcome.

Braden Artem (Acton, Ontario, CANADA/Christ the King HS) scored four goals to pace the offense.  Scheich added three assists to his goal.  Cullop handed out two helpers.  Zulak had a pair of goals for Mars Hill.  Dan Applebaum and Blake Mattinson each had a goal and an assist.  Dylan Price recorded 13 saves for the Lions.

Catawba topped Florida Southern 10-8 for the tournament title last year, the first DSC Championship for the Indians.  The Moccasins won the first meeting this year between the teams, 13-8 in Lakeland, FL.

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