STATESBORO, Ga. –– The 16th-ranked Sailfish opened up Southeast Division play on Thursday, knocking off Georgia Southern 18-9. Palm Beach Atlantic (5-4) used an early surge to amass an 8-1 lead against the Eagles (4-4), scoring the game’s first five goals.
PBA’s Joey Bauer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Florida State Univ.) opened the scoring on back to back goals, before an extra-man goal by first-team All-American Nick Scalzo (Webster, N.Y./Jacksonville Univ.). The ‘Fish finished the day with five man-up goals, a season-high, on eight opportunities (62.5%).
Palm Beach Atlantic went into halftime leading 11-5, paced by sophomore Greg Swanson’s (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton) four goals and one assist; he’d finish with eight points on Thursday afternoon. Also scoring eight points was Robert Aycock (Greensboro, N.C./Walter Hines Page), whose thirty points in five games have been a revelation at the attack position.
PBA’s lead was as large as ten goals (18-8), before Georgia Southern closed the scoring at 3:48 of the fourth quarter. Sophomore Drake Kessell (Hagerstown, Md./South Hagerstown) finished with eighteen saves.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The Sailfish starting attack are the players of the game for Thursday’s win against Georgia Southern. PBA’s trio of Joey Bauer,Nick Scalzo, and Robert Aycock combined for eleven goals and seven assists in the win.
UNSUNG HERO OF THE GAME
The unsung hero of the game was Camden Baggs (Summerville, S.C./Ashley Ridge). Camden opened the scoring on an assist to Joey Bauer at 13:12 of the first quarter and also scored to give PBA a 9-3 lead at 10:41 of the second. His five ground balls were tops among Sailfish midfielders.
STREAKING FACEOFF PLAY
Freshman Scotty Brown is quickly making a case for SELC Specialty Player of the Year. He finished 23-for-29 on faceoffs (79.3%) against the Eagles, with fourteen ground balls. This is Scotty’s second straight game near 80% on faceoffs (Wednesday vs. No. 9 Elon – 28/35, 80%), winning most of the faceoffs against Gavin Baugh, a Georgia Southern LSM averaging 64.7% win percentage throughout the 2015 season.
Palm Beach Atlantic registered 50 shots against the Eagles, a season high. The ‘Fish were scoring against Georgia Southern 36% percent of the time.
Following Thursday’s 18-9 victory over Georgia Southern, Palm Beach Atlantic now leads the all-time series 7-1. The series began in 2007-2008 when both teams joined the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference.
WHAT’S ON TAP
The ‘Fish are off this weekend, one of two no-activity weekends all season. They’ll pick up against Point University (1-3) on Saturday, March 21 at the Rinker Athletic Campus (7:00 p.m.). Follow the ‘Fish on Twitter for in-game live updates and more (www.twitter.com/pbalacrosse).