Bucknell vs. Bryant
February 23, 2013
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Chase Bailey netted a hat trick, David Dickson handed out four more assists and Jackson Place led a strong defensive effort with six caused turnovers to guide the Bucknell men's lacrosse team to a 10-8 win over Bryant in the home opener Saturday afternoon at damp and chilly Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The Bison improved to 2-1 on the season while sending the defending Northeast Conference champion to 0-3.

Tom Black and Thomas Flibotte added two goals apiece, and Todd Heritage and Sean Doyle both had a goal and an assist for Bison, who outshot Bryant 40-26. Long-stick defensive middie Mason Poli had two goals and an assist, and Alex Zomerfeld produced a goal and three assists for the Bulldogs, who had previously lost in overtime to Colgate and by two goals to Fairfield, both ranked opponents.

The key stretch in the game came at the end of the first half, when Bucknell scored four straight times to bust open a 4-4 deadlock. Flibotte showed off his rocket shot for the second time in the game, breaking the tie with 7:05 left in the half. With 3:54 left Heritage threaded a pass to Doyle on the doorstep for a quick-stick goal to make it 6-4, marking the first multi-goal lead of the game for either team.

Bucknell then scored two goals 26 seconds apart. First it was Bailey scoring off a Dickson feed with the Bison in a 30-second shot-clock situation. Bailey was decked after the shot, and Bryant's unnecessary roughness penalty gave Bucknell another possession without a faceoff. The Bison took advantage, with Heritage scoring man-up off another assist from Dickson to make it 8-4.

It took more than nine minutes for either side to score in the second half, as both defenses locked in. Poli brought Bryant within 8-5 with 5:51 left in the third quarter, but only 36 seconds later Bison freshman Brock Ghelfi got the goal right back with a hard shot on the run.

The Bulldogs closed within 9-7 with two goals late in the third, but Bucknell's defense was terrific in the fourth quarter. In the final period, Place earned three of his game-high six caused turnovers, and long-stick defensive middie Wills Miller had two more. Miller's takeaway with 5:09 left in the game led to a Bryant penalty, and Bucknell picked up an important insurance goal on the ensuing EMO. Dickson collected his fourth assist of the game with a feed to Black for the man-up goal and a 10-7 lead with 4:47 left.

Bryant pulled one back on Colin Dunster's goal with 1:29 left. The Bulldogs won the faceoff, but Kyle Feeney came up with three saves in the final 66 seconds to help keep Bryant from getting any closer.

Place's six caused turnovers marked a career high, and Feeney was also very active defensively. In addition to his seven saves, the Bison goalie intercepted four passes and had a total of seven ground balls. Freshman pole Alex Spring added five ground balls and three caused turnovers, and Miller and Mike Huffer added three GBs apiece.

Ryan Gutowski had a strong game at the faceoff X. Even though the stat sheet showed a 6-for-15 day, he was going up against statistically the nation's top returning faceoff specialist in Kevin Massa. Gutowski forced several long scrums that prevented the fast-paced Bulldogs from breaking out on clean wins.

Dickson entered the weekend as the Patriot League leader in assists, and he tacked on four more on Saturday. He now has 10 in three games this season.

Freshman goalie Tom Carey played very well for Bryant, finishing with 14 saves, 11 of them coming in the second half.

The first-ever meeting between Bucknell and Bryant marked the start of a four-game homestand for the Bison. Next up is Navy in the Patriot League opener next Saturday at 1 p.m.