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Spartans Edge Mars Hill to Take Sixth Straight

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MARIETTA, Ga. – In a neutral site contest, the No. 9 University of Tampa (8-1) men’s lacrosse team picked up its sixth consecutive win with a 12-10 victory over regional opponent Mars Hill College (3-4).

It was another career day for UT junior attacker Mike Morris, who netted a career-high six goals to lead all Spartans. It was one goal shy of Jake Rooney’s school record for goals in a game. The Oakville, Ont., native has now scored multiple goals in five straight games, including a total of 20 during that span.

Morris put the Spartans on the board with the game’s first goal, which was assisted by Conor Whipple at 6:29. Matt Bilak and Morris would add another goal in the first quarter as the Spartans went into the second with a 3-1 lead.

The Spartans surged to a 7-1 lead with the first four goals of the second quarter. Bilak connected on the first two, with Morris following with a pair of his own. The Lions would respond with three straight goals prior to halftime, trimming UT’s lead to 7-4 at the break.

Mars Hill scored the first goal of the second half, which was quickly negated by a Morris goal to give UT an 8-5 lead. The Lions then made it a game as they would score three unanswered to knot the contest at 8-8 with 2:03 to go in the third.

Whipple would close out the third period with the first of four straight Spartan goals to put the game out of reach for the Lions. Zak Goldbach also added a goal during the run, as did Whipple and Morris.

The Lions would close with a pair of late goals inside the two-minute mark to make it a two-goal differential at the final horn.

A.J. Arnold started in goal for Tampa, playing 39:00 and getting his fifth win of the season. He would finish with three saves. Shane Giunta played the final 12:00 and registered four saves.

Nick Ferreiro won 14-of-21 faceoffs for the Spartans, who were successful in 67 percent of faceoffs on the game. Ferreiro also led all Spartans with six groundballs, followed by Jon McGowan with five and Whipple with four.

UT outshot its opponent 46-30 in the game as Bilak and Morris each tallied 11 shots. Ten of Morris’ shots were on target as Whipple added eight shots of his own.

In addition to Morris’ six goals, Bilak added three goals and three assists and Whipple turned in a pair of goals to go with three assists.

The Spartans return home to face Adams State on Thursday. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex. A broadcast and live stats will be available through TampaSpartans.tv.

Fans may follow University of Tampa athletics on Twitter (www.twitter.com/utspartans), Facebook (www.facebook.com/tampaspartans), YouTube (youtube.com/utathletics) and Instragram (tampaspartans). UT also offers blAst, a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.

In 2009, Adam O’Neill, Harry Alford and Thomas Alford launched Lacrosse Playground as the preeminent site for lacrosse gearheads. For years Lacrosse Playground provided lacrosse fans with tutorials and tips on how to string a lacrosse head, up-close looks at the gear the top players used and sneak peeks at equipment and uniforms before they were released. More than 10 years and millions of visits later, Lacrosse Playground has relaunched with a focus on storytelling. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of the latest lacrosse news, share insights into the sports betting and fantasy lacrosse world and showcase the lifestyles and personalities of the sport of lacrosse through articles, videos and podcasts.

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