Bucknell vs. Holy Cross
March 31, 2007
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Rookie attackmen Austin Winter (Boonton Twp., N.J./Mountain Lakes) and Tim Brandau (Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh) combined for eight goals and four assists to lead 16th-ranked Bucknell to a 15-5 rout of Holy Cross in a Patriot League men's lacrosse game at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Winter posted a career-high seven points on four goals and three assists, while Brandau had four goals and one assist for the Bison, who improved to 8-2 overall and 2-1 in the Patriot League. Bucknell hit the eight-win mark for the eighth time in school history, with five of those eight-win seasons coming this decade.

Edison Parzanese led Holy Cross (2-6, 0-5) with two goals and one assist, while Chris Smirti tossed in a pair of fourth-quarter goals for the Crusaders, who fell to 0-18 all-time against Bucknell.

The Bison poured in a season-high 15 goals, even though the two teams played to a scoreless tie after one period. Bucknell was playing for the first time without star attackman Joe Mele, the Patriot League's leading goal-scorer (24) who suffered a season-ending knee injury in last Sunday's game against Navy, and it took the Bison a full quarter to get in synched up offensively.

Holy Cross outshot Bucknell 12-4 in the opening period, but the Bison EMO unit, which had a stellar day, got things going in the second. Just 21 seconds into the second quarter, Tommy Moore (Hauppage, N.Y./Hauppage) picked up the first of his two assists on the day with a nice feed in front to Brandau, who finally got one past Crusader goalie Jimmy Harrison.

Just over a minute later, Brandau turned in a terrific individual play to make it 2-0. As Holy Cross tried to break out of its own zone on a clear, Brandau broke up a pass, scooped the ground ball and scored a breakaway goal.

The Crusaders, who took Bucknell to overtime before falling 4-3 last season, tied it on back-to-back unassisted goals from Parzanese, another of the Patriot League's talented freshmen.

It remained a 2-2 game until the 6:38 mark of the second quarter, when Winter got going offensively. First he feathered a nice pass to Brandau for the go-ahead goal, Brandau's third of the day. Just 19 seconds later Winter powered past a defender and scored to make it 4-2, and he scored again with 4:54 left to give the Bison a 5-2 edge. Less than a minute later, another Bucknell rookie, Zander Crawford (Clarksville, Md./Atholton) skipped a low shot off the turf past Harrison to complete the four-goal run.

Holy Cross got back within 6-3 with 3:12 left in the half when Paul LeBlanc ripped a high shot into the cage, making him the first non-freshman to score a goal in the game. Bucknell capped a seven-goal second quarter with only seven seconds left in the period when Winter came from behind the cage and scored from the right side to make it a 7-3 game at intermission.

The Bison pulled away by scoring the only four goals of the third quarter and the first three of the fourth to go up 14-3. Sophomore middie Perry Menzies (Upperco, Md./Hereford) opened the second-half scoring with his 12th goal of the season, and later he picked up his first assist of the year on a nice low-to-high shot from Brian Gargan (Baltimore, Md./Mt. St. Joseph).

John Togneri (Longmeadow, Mass./Loomis-Chaffee) benefited from a acrobatic feed from freshman Ryan Bakker (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) with 5:13 left in the game. Trying to kill off the tail end of a penalty, Bakker spun through a host of Crusader defenders, even drawing a slashing flag himself at one point. His run along the right sideline took him behind the goal and back around to the left side, where his leaping pass somehow made it through two long poles right into the stick of an alert Togneri, who finished from point-blank range. Bakker picked up another assist on Winter's EMO goal with 4:39 to play.

Smirti scored twice late for Holy Cross to make it 14-5, and in the closing seconds Steven Cheng (Floral Park, N.Y./Floral Park) scored Bucknell's fifth EMO goal in seven attempts to finish the scoring.

All told Bucknell's first nine goals of the day came from first-year players, and it finished with nine goals and six assists from its potent freshman class. Four of Holy Cross' five goals came from freshmen.

Bucknell came into the game ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 6.1 goals per game. That figure went down, as the Bison allowed six goals or less for the eighth time in 10 games this season. Goalie Nick Sciubba (Sea Cliff, N.Y./Salisbury School) made seven saves and allowed three goals before taking an early rest after three quarters. Matt Antonelli (Arnold, Md./Archbishop Spalding) has a busy fourth quarter, making six stops while allowing two goals.

Harrison had nine saves for Holy Cross, while backup Connor Sweeney had two saves after coming in with 4:39 to play, including a highlight-reel stop well outside the crease after a giveaway on clear.

After being outshot 12-4 in the first quarter, the Bison rallied to outshoot Holy Cross 39-38. They also won the ground ball battle 37-17 and controlled 13 of the 23 faceoffs. While the EMO unit went a season-best 5-for-7, the man-down team successfully killed all five Holy Cross EMO chances.

The Bison will now have a week off before traveling to West Point, N.Y., to face No. 9 Army next Saturday at 1 p.m.