Hobart vs. Robert Morris
March 17, 2012
The Game Story:
GENEVA, N.Y.—It was a tale of two halves on Boswell Field this afternoon. The Hobart College lacrosse team controlled the first 30 minutes, carrying a 9-6 lead into the locker room, but Robert Morris University turned the tables after the break, escaping with a 14-12 victory.

The final statistics were just as close as the final score. The Colonials had a 45-44 edge in shots and committed three fewer turnovers while the Statesmen owned a 33-32 edge in ground balls. Both teams went 2-for-3 with the extra-man and both sides were able to kill off a two-minute non-releaseable penalty. Hobart was perfect clearing on all 16 attempts, while RMU didn't have much trouble, clearing on 19-of-22 attempts.

Statesmen senior Bobby Dattilo, the nation's top faceoff specialist, matched his career-high with 21 victories on 30 attempts while collecting a game and career-high 16 ground balls.

Colonial junior goalie Dillon Pope earned the win with 17 saves, including six in the first quarter. Hobart sophomore Peter Zonino recorded 13 stops.

The Statesmen grabbed a 3-1 lead through 15 minutes. Sophomore Cam Stone put Hobart on the board first off a feed from classmate Alex Love just 34 seconds into the game. RMU equalized when Tyler Digby found Jakes Hayes midway through the frame. Love put the Statesmen back in front, scoring off a pass in transition from junior Reid Rosello at the 5:44 mark. First-year Taylor Vanderbeek set up senior Chris Pedersen's extra-man goal three minutes later to complete the first quarter scoring.

The second quarter belonged to the offenses that combined for 11 goals. Stone set up the first two strikes, by Love and first-year Thomas Petrocci, to stretch the Hobart lead to 5-1 less than two minutes into the second. The Colonials countered with consecutive goals less than a minute apart, but the Statesmen were able to regain the momentum with three goals in the span of 2:09. Miller converted back-to-back goals to start the run. Dattilo set up the third, but collecting his own faceoff win and dishing to junior Ethan O'Connor, who fired home his first goal of the year for a 9-4 lead.

Robert Morris, which received votes in both the coaches and media polls this week, was able to keep the game close by scoring three of the half's final four goals, all from 6-foot-5 senior midfielder Kyle Matisz. He finished the game with five goals and two assists.

The Colonials (5-2) capitalized on a slashing penalty against Hobart, with Hayes hitting the back of the net just seven seconds after the call. That sparked a string of four straight goals to start the half for the visitors that gave them their first lead of the day, 10-9 with 10:11 left in the third. Vanderbeek and Pedersen sandwiched goals around senior Kevin Brownell's man-up tally for RMU to send the teams into the fourth quarter tied at 11.

Matisz gave the Colonials the lead for good with his final goal of the day at the 10:42 mark. Hayes gave RMU a two-goal cushion, off a Matisz assist, less than two minutes later. Stone got it back to a one-goal game on the extra-man, firing home a cross-crease pass from Pedersen with 8:27 to go, but Brownell restored the two-goal lead with 5:34 remaining to secure the victory.

Brownell and Hayes both recorded hat tricks for the Colonials while Digby handed out a team-high three assists.

Hobart (1-4) got five points from Pedersen (3g, 2a) and Stone (2g, 3a) and three points from Love (2g, 1a).

The Statesmen will be back in action on Tuesday, March 20 when they visit Canisius. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Robert Morris will stay out on the road, visiting Bucknell at 7:30 p.m. on March 20.