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Freshman Jake Meisenheimer (2014)

Men's Water Polo overtakes Lake Nona
3/14/2014 12:06:00 AM

Top-ranked Men's Water Polo stormed back from a 6-5 halftime deficit to defeat second-ranked Lake Nona, 12-9. An uncharacteristically sluggish start saw DP (9-2) fall behind, 1-0, at the 3:19 mark but a penalty shot by Evan Staton equalized the match just 17 seconds later. The Lions would respond with another goal before  freshman Jake Meisenheimer scored the first of his two goals off an assist from Corbin Chamberlain to tie things up at 2-2. Midway through the second quarter, DP found themselves down a goal again but Parker Sellers fed Andrew Sweet a beautiful pass on the right side of the cage and the southpaw fired it into the left upper 90 to pull DP to a 3-3 tie yet again. After another Lake Nona goal eight seconds later, the Panthers pulled even a fourth time on Evan Staton's penalty shot with 3:09 left in the half. But again, Lake Nona counterpunched quickly with a goal 24 seconds later and added another at the 2:02 mark to take their largest lead, 6-4. With just over a minute remaining, Anshul Devnani capitalized on a perfect pass from Jake Meisenheimer to send the Panthers into the break, down 6-5.

Lake Nona started strong in the second half with another goal to make it 7-5 but Evan Staton's unassisted goal at 5:50, followed by Parker Sellers' game-tying goal off a Devnani assist less than a minute later, gave DP renewed energy. Tied at 7-7, Jake Meisenheimer put the Panthers up for good with his second goal (from Devnani). Staton's third penalty shot goal put the Panthers up by two, 9-7, and Anshul Devnani thanked goaltender Nik Lachinski for his assist on Devnani's second score that upped the lead to 10-7. Lake Nona quieted the DP crowd as they responded with a buzzer-beating goal to end the third quarter with DP ahead, 10-8. On to the fourth quarter we went and Andrew Sweet came up big again, scoring his second goal off a Corbin Chamberlain assist and with 4:21 left in the game, Corbin Chamberlain had perhaps the best goal of the night. Evan Staton lofted a pass high in front of the net and Chamberlain was there to smack it home for DP's 12th and final goal. While many strong performances were turned in tonight, none was bigger than goaltender Nik Lachinski who turned away a school-record 19 shots (breaking Collin Brandt's mark of 18) with four assists...a performance made even more remarkable as he was dealing with the hospitalization of his father earlier in the day. A gut-check win for the Panthers as they now look ahead to Saturday's home game vs. Wekiva.

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