Robert Morris vs. Drexel
March 2, 2013
The Game Story:
Moon Township, Pa. – The Robert Morris University men’s lacrosse team played with the lead for much of the game, but the Colonials were unable to close out against nationally ranked Drexel as the Dragons used a goal with under two minutes remaining to claim a 13-12 victory in non-conference action on a cold Saturday afternoon at a Joe Walton Stadium.
RMU outscored Drexel, 12-10, on even-strength tallies, but the difference came on extra-man chances. The Dragons were given three extra-man opportunities for the game without being whistled for a single penalty themselves.
The Colonials trailed for fewer than 13 minutes on the afternoon and were only behind for 3:12 of fourth quarter action.
RMU committed fewer turnovers than Drexel and also generated more caused turnovers than its opponent for the eighth consecutive games.
Senior attackman Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta / Central Memorial) led the RMU offensive attack for the second straight week as he netted a hat trick and added an assist to move to the brink of attaining 100 career points. Hayes extended his career long point streak to 19 games and moved his goal streak and multi-point streaks to 11 games each. In doing so, Hayes becomes just the fourth Colonial ever to score in at least 11 consecutive games. Hayes notched his 24th career multi-point game, his 20th multi-goal outing and his 14th hat trick while collecting at least four points for the seventh time in RMU’s last 11 contests.
Redshirt junior midfielder Mitch Wilde (Brooklin, Ontario / Donald A. Wilson) had his best offensive performance as a Colonial as he registered career highs in both points (three) and goals (two) with both of his scores coming in the fourth quarter.
Redshirt senior attackman Dave Morton (Orangeville, Ontario / Hill School) matched Wilde’s line of two goals and an assist to record his 11th multi-goal game in the team’s past 12 outings. He notched his 17th career multi-point game and his 13th multi-goal effort in a Colonial uniform.
The teams split the game’s first six goals evenly although two of the Dragons’ first three tallies were of the man-up variety. Morton scored courtesy of Hayes late in the first quarter to give RMU a 4-3 edge after the opening period.
Redshirt senior Charles Ruppert (Long Island, N.Y. / Massapequa) stopped six of Drexel’s seven shots on goal in the second quarter while Hayes and junior long-stick midfielder Tyler Rankel (Downingtown, Pa. / Downingtown West) found the net to give Robert Morris a 6-4 lead at the break.
Drexel found the net twice within the opening three minutes of the second half to tie the score, 6-6, and from that point forward, the teams were within one score of one another for the remainder of the third quarter with the Dragons claiming a 10-9 advantage after 45 minutes of action.
Robert Morris came roaring back to start the final stanza as the Colonials scored three consecutive goals in 6:35 to take a 12-10 lead near the midpoint of the fourth quarter. The Dragons would respond with their own three-goal run, eventually retaking the lead on an unassisted goal with 1:55 remaining. RMU had two shots in the final two minutes to tie the game but could not convert on either, and the clock ran out with the teams scrambling for the ball in the Colonials’ offensive end.
Redshirt junior midfielder Taylor Graves (Carlsbad, Calif. / Carlsbad) posted a career-high three assists to net three points for the second straight game and the third time in four weeks. It was Graves’ 10th career multi-point outing.
True freshman midfielder Eric Rankel (Philadelphia, Pa. / Downingtown West) contributed two goals, four ground balls and two caused turnovers. He has now collected multiple points in each of his first four collegiate outings and notched his second multi-goal game Saturday.
Ruppert had a game-high 14 saves to hit double figures in that category for the fourth consecutive game and the 14th time in his career. Ruppert, who posted a career-best eight ground balls, has stopped more than half of the shots on goal he has faced in each of RMU’s games thus far this season.
Sophomore attackman Jacob Ruest (Cornwall, Ontario / The Hill Academy) scored once and assisted on another goal to record multiple points for the second time in three weeks.
Tyler Rankel found the net with his long pole for the second straight week and the third time in his career. Rankel also now has a point in a career-best three straight games.
RMU will seek to get back on track next week, but the Colonials will have to do it on the road. Robert Morris will travel to Dartmouth Saturday, March 9, for the inaugural meeting with the Big Green in program history.