Mount Saint Mary's vs. Bryant
April 30, 2011
The Game Story:
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Neither side led by more than three goals all afternoon in a tightly contested, rain-soaked Northeast Conference matchup, but four Robert Morris goals over a three-minute stretch late in the fourth would put the game just out of reach for the Bryant men's lacrosse team, as the Bulldogs fell, 16-15, Saturday afternoon on Senior Day.

Junior Max Weisenberg (Long Beach, N.Y.) led Bryant (7-8, 2-2 NEC) with five points off three goals and two assists, including netting back-to-back unanswered tallies in the final two minutes to cut the Bulldogs' deficit to one. But after RMU's Mike Grosz won the final faceoff with 31 seconds left, the home side wouldn't get the opportunity to try for the equalizer as the Colonials (8-5, 2-2) used the possession to run out the remaining clock for the 16-15 final.

Sophomore Peter McMahon (Wilton, Conn.) also registered five points (2g, 3a) on the day, while senior Gary Crowley (Scituate, Mass.) joined Weisenberg with his own hat trick despite the loss. Patrick Smith scored a game-high four goals for the visitors while Kyle Buchanan's six points (3g, 3a) were a contest best.

Neither team could hold a lead for long throughout the contest, and 12 ties highlighted the conference battle. After opening the game with a quick score from Kevin Sherrill (Charlotte, N.C.), the Bulldogs would take their biggest lead of the outing with 7:41 to play before the half, 7-5, on an Alex Zomerfeld (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) goal assisted by McMahon.

Consecutive Robert Morris tallies retied the score at 7-7 soon after, and the teams would enter halftime in an 8-8 draw. Bryant scored three man-up goals in the first two frames, including back-to-back man-advantage scores 35 seconds apart in the first period after the Colonials' Corby Tao-Brambleby earned a three-minute penalty for using an illegal stick.

Bryant again struck first to open the third – the Bulldogs would record the opening goal in all four quarters – with a McMahon tally for a temporary 9-8 edge, but RMU would come back with the next pair to take over a 10-9 advantage and the Colonials would lead, 11-10, at the conclusion of the session courtesy of a Kiel Matisz score with two seconds remaining.

The Bulldogs would regain their final lead of the contest with two goals to open the fourth stanza, 12-11, but a four-goal stretch for the Colonials not only nullified the home side's lead, but also earned the visitors their biggest cushion of the afternoon, 15-12, with 5:35 to play in the game.

Bryant's JK Poirier (Coatesville, Pa.) got one back a minute later but Kyle Buchanan re-upped his team's lead, 16-13, on an unassisted score with 2:35 showing on the clock.

And while Weisenberg's late push put pressure on the Colonials, they would hold on for the one-goal win, setting back the Bulldogs, 16-15, in their home finale.

Senior Anthony Iannello (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) pulled in a five ground balls with a pair of caused turnovers on the day as the Bulldogs won the battle in both categories, 49-34 and 11-9. Bryant outshot its opponent, 45-31, but had just 27 shots on goal as RMU goalie Charles Ruppert made 12 saves for the win. The Colonials put 21 of their shots on target, and Jameson Love (Darien, Conn.) stopped five. The Bulldogs won the faceoff battle with 18-of-32 victories as fifth-year senior Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.) went 16-of-29 from the X with a team-high nine ground balls. Bryant finished the day with four man-up tallies and went 12-of-14 on the clear.

The Bulldogs return to the field for the 2011 regular-season finale April 30 at Mount St. Mary's (1 p.m.), and Bryant still controls its own destiny despite Saturday's loss. A win over the league-leading Mountaineers would guarantee the Bulldogs a spot in the four-team inaugural NEC Tournament to be played May 6 and 8 at the highest seed.