Robert Morris vs. Bucknell
March 22, 2011
The Game Story:
Pittsburgh, Pa. - Senior captain Trevor Moore (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia / Western Reserve Academy), the program's all-time leader in goals, recorded maybe the most important score of his career just past the midway point of the fourth quarter to break a 5-5 tie as the Robert Morris University men's lacrosse team notched one of its biggest victories in program history Tuesday night with a stellar defensive effort as it collected a 7-5 win over No. 17/18 Bucknell at Mt. Lebanon Stadium.
In the inaugural meeting between the two Keystone State foes, the Colonials recorded their first-ever victory over a ranked opponent in the young history of the program.

While Robert Morris has made its share of headlines in the recent past for its offensive prowess, RMU used a new formula Tuesday evening by clamping down on the Bison defensively. The five goals marked the fewest number Bucknell has scored in its last 34 contests, dating to March 7, 2009. Furthermore, the Colonials only yielded two even-strength goals against the Bison, marking the fewest non-special teams goals given up by RMU in its last 50 overall games, dating to February 2008.

Moore finished with a pair of goals to collect his seventh multi-goal game of the season and extend his streak of consecutive multi-point games to nine. His game-winning tally also moved him out of a tie and into sole possession of first place in all-time game-winning goals at RMU.

Bucknell got on the board first just over five minutes in after receiving the game's first man-up opportunity as Ryan Klipstein put the Bison on top with 10 seconds remaining on the man-advantage. Despite hitting the post twice and outshooting Bucknell in the game's first 15 minutes, Robert Morris was unable to find the net and headed to the second stanza trailing by one.

Robert Morris was whistled for another penalty in the early stages of the second quarter, but this time the Colonial man-down unit was up to the task and provided a momentum-changing kill. Not long after the penalty ended, RMU suddenly found an offensive rhythm as the Colonials put home three tallies in a 2:47 span. Junior Casey Abbott (San Jose, Calif. / Bellarmine Prep.), junior Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) and Moore found the net consecutively to put Robert Morris up by two and force a Bucknell timeout.

Neither squad was able to alter the scoreboard before halftime arrived, so the Colonials took their two-goal edge into the intermission.

The Bison again took advantage of a man-up opportunity to pull within a goal with 8:43 left in the third before they evened the game, 3-3, just 46 ticks later.

RMU returned the favor a few minutes later when sophomore Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta / Central Memorial) scored a man-up goal courtesy of redshirt senior captain Patrick Smith (Westminster, Md. / Westminster). The Colonials won the ensuing faceoff and went back up by two just 37 seconds later when senior Taylor Caparosa (Annapolis, Md. / Annapolis) found the twine.

For the third time in the third quarter, a team scored a man-up goal and even-strength goal in a short time frame as Bucknell knotted the game, 5-5, with 1:33 remaining in the third.

Robert Morris' start to the final frame seemed inauspicious when it was called for a penalty just 11 seconds in, but the Colonial man-down unit came up with a big kill, helped by a save in net from redshirt sophomore Charles Ruppert (Long Island, N.Y. / Massapequa).

After each team had multiple possessions and chances to take the lead, RMU's most prolific scorer gave the Colonials a 6-5 lead with 6:40 remaining as he scored just three seconds after a successful RMU clear attempt.

The final minutes featured back-and-forth action, and Ruppert came up with a huge save for RMU as he stopped a shot with 1:16 left, leading to a successful RMU clear. Junior Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, Ontario / John McCrae) put the nail in the coffin when he collected an insurance goal with just 19 seconds remaining.

Ruppert allowed his fewest-ever goal total while playing in an entire game as he stopped an impressive 12 of the 17 shots that Bucknell put on cage.

Junior Mike Grosz (St. Louis, Mo. / Parkway West) also played a big role in the victory as he took every faceoff and went 11-for-16 at the 'X' to record RMU's best faceoff percentage of the season and its best in its last 31 home games.

The Colonial offensive effort was also noteworthy for some of the players that stepped up against the nationally-ranked Bison--three different RMU players that scored had entered the game with three or fewer goals on the season but came through in a big way Tuesday.

Moore (38), Buchanan (35) and Matisz (27) all extended their consecutive point streaks after each member of the trio ranked among the top 10 nationally entering the week--no other school had even two players ranked in the top 15.

With the win, RMU extends its current winning streak to four games while handing the Bison just their second loss of the season.

The game was the final non-conference home contest for the Colonials in 2011 as RMU will play five of its remaining six games against Northeast Conference foes. Robert Morris will have the next 10 days off and will resume action when it travels to Maryland to take on 2010 NCAA participant Mount St. Mary's Saturday, April 2 in its league opener.