WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Using a 10-1 first half effort, No. 16 Palm Beach Atlantic recorded an 18-7 divisional win over Florida Atlantic on Wednesday. It was another great initial effort; the Sailfish (2-1) have outscored their opponents 21-1 through the first and second quarter in the past two games.
PBA’s defense put together another strong effort, holding the Owls without a goal for the first 25:45. By the time the Owls got on the board, the tandem of Greg Swanson (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton) and Mike Mastracchio (Jupiter, Fla./St. Leo Univ.) had already combined for four goals and five assists en route to a 9-0 lead.
In what was an even third quarter, the ‘Fish withstood a strong FAU run before going on a run themselves. The fourth quarter was all Palm Beach Atlantic, after another Mastracchio goal just eleven seconds in. Freshmen midfielder Grayson Smith (West Palm Beach, Fla./The King’s Academy) ended the scoring at 6:53 on his second goal of the game, making it an 18-7 PBA lead. At eleven goals, the final score was their largest lead of the game.
THE SCORING TOUCH
Palm Beach Atlantic had nine scorers on the night, eight of whom had multi-point nights. The ‘Fish were led by junior All-American Greg Swanson (two goals, five assists) and St. Leo transfer Mike Mastracchio (three goals, four assists) who both tallied seven points. Senior attackman Rob Aycock (Greensboro, N.C./Walter Hines Page) and junior midfielder Camden Baggs (Summerville, S.C./Ashley Ridge) both had three goals and one assist.
The Owls came out of halftime ready to compete, scoring the first three goals of the third quarter, making a 10-4 game at 11:39. Throughout the next eight-plus minutes, PBA stemmed the tide and countered, scoring four times to create a ten goal lead and put the game out of reach. Baggs and freshman Christian Corbin (Bowie, Md./St. Mary’s–Annapolis) both scored twice during that stretch.
For the Sailfish and the Owls, there were 21 total infractions called, totaling 15:30 in penalty time. Palm Beach Atlantic struck four times on extra-man opportunities, while Florida Atlantic scored once.
LOOKING AT THE SOUTHEAST
Palm Beach Atlantic is now 1-0 in the SELC Southeast and sits atop the division. The ‘Fish don’t play another divisional opponent until April 9th (Georgia Southern), but the next in-division matchup is when Florida Gulf Coast travels to GSU for a Sunday matinee on February 28. The top two teams in the four-member division head to Atlanta for the SELC Tournament on April 22-24.
Following the victory, PBA is now 8-0 all-time against Florida Atlantic, dating back to 2012. Last season, the Sailfish defeated the Owls twice: once at home in a non-divisional matchup (W, 12-9) and once in Boca Raton, Fla. for the divisional affair (W, 21-2).
WHAT’S ON TAP
Palm Beach Atlantic continues its homestand next weekend as they host the University of Miami at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 27.