SAINT LEO, Fla. – MIT held a one-goal lead at the end of the first quarter but host Saint Leo University went on to outscore the Engineers 12-2 en route to a 14-5 victory on Tuesday night. Sophomore Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.) paced the Cardinal and Gray with two goals and an assist as its ledger lowered to 3-4 on the year.
The Lions scored twice during the opening 2:33 of the game before a defensive battle ensued. The visitors ended the stalemate when Orrson connected on a feed from freshman Harris Stolzenberg (Weston, Fla.) with 4:11 left in the quarter. Sophomore Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.) generated the equalizer with just under two minutes to go while Orrson found freshman Michael Traub (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) for the go-ahead goal with nine ticks left.
Both sides struggled to find its offensive rhythm in the second stanza but it was Saint Leo which broke through. The hosts found the back of the net on two occasions during the last 1:57 of action, giving them a 4-3 edge at halftime.
The Lions carried the momentum into the third quarter as they put up another pair of goals. With 6:02 remaining, MIT ended its scoring drought on a man-up goal by Orrson that was set up by Traub to trim its deficit to two (6-4). Saint Leo gained some breathing room two minutes later, sparking what proved to be a game-ending 8-1 run. Stolzenberg generated the Engineers' lone fourth-quarter goal which came at the 10:12 mark.
Senior Joel Santisteban (Lawrence, N.Y.), freshman Matthew Kalinowski (Toms River, N.J.), and Stolzenberg each collected three groundballs while sophomore Eric Bartell (San Diego, Calif.) amassed 14 saves for MIT.
Upon their return from Florida, the Engineers resume NEWMAC play on Saturday, March 29 with a home game against Clark University.