Bryant vs. Fairfield
February 16, 2013
The Game Story:
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Despite a 15-of-18 faceoff performance from sophomore Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.), the Bryant University men's lacrosse team couldn't reign in Stags attack Jordan Greenfield, as the junior found the net four times to propel No. 16/16 Fairfield University to an 8-6 win over the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at the Bryant Turf Complex.

Greenfield tallied half the Stags' (1-0) goals in the contest as the Bulldogs (0-2) got scores from six different sources behind a .833 faceoff winning percentage from Massa, who also led the game with a career-high 14 ground balls. Massa would go a perfect 4-for-4 from the X in both the first and third quarters.

"It was a shame today that an unbelievable performance at the faceoff X only turned into six goals," said Bryant head coach Mike Pressler. "Massa was able to give us all those offensive possessions, and we took 43 shots and only came away with six goals — that was the story of the game for us."

Bryant took its largest lead of the contest, 5-3, with 8:22 to play in the third quarter, when senior captain Peter McMahon (Wilton, Conn.) rocketed a shot from distance off a feed from Cody Isdaner (Gladwyne, Pa.) to score the only man-up goal of the contest.

It was a goal that came just 26 seconds after linemate Dan Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.) broke a 3-3 halftime tie with a counterattack transition score following a caused turnover in the defensive end from Mason Poli (Downingtown, Pa.), one of two on the day.

It looked as though that would be all the scoring in the frame, too, until Tristan Sperry got the visiting Stags back on the in the second half with an unassisted goal under stiff defensive pressure with just 20 ticks remaining the in the stanza.

The tally swung the momentum to the Fairfield side, where Greenfield was waiting, as the junior opened the fourth frame with back-to-back scores, tying the game up at 5-5 with 12:09 remaining before giving the Stags their second lead of the game, 6-5, off a pass from Eric Warden with 9:31 left to play.

Rookie midfielder Collins Gantz (Denver, Colo.) brought the hosts back to even for the fourth tie of the game, 6-6, with 8:06 showing on the clock, but it would be Bryant's last score of the afternoon, as Greenfield capped off his day with an unaided goal at the 6:07 mark and Colin McLinden tacked on an empty net tally with 1:44 remaining for the 8-6 final.

The Stags started and ended the game with a two-goal cushion, scoring the opening pair of tallies 90 seconds apart in the first frame, the first from Greenfield and the second from Nick Guida. Bulldog junior Bo Redpath (Norwich, Vt.) wasted no time cutting the margin in half, though, scoring his own unassisted goal with 7:33 to play.

It was the first of three-straight Bulldog goals, as sophomore Shane Morrell (Glen Mills, Pa.) opened the second with his own unaided score. Bryant's third and final goal of the first half wouldn't come for more than seven minutes, though, until Tom Carey (New Canaan, Conn.) came up with a huge save on a shot from Fairfield's Drew Federico. Junior Alex Zomerfeld (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) picked up the ground ball on the rebound and carried to into the offensive box, dishing the ball off for the first of five quick passes around the box that resulted in a pass across the goal mouth from Sipperly to a waiting Brian Schlansker (Glenville, N.Y.), who nailed it home from the doorstep.

But the Stags would be the ones to even the score this time, wrapping up first-half scoring with a goal from Sam Snow with 4:53 left before the break.

"Once Kevin [Massa] got into the groove, we could dictate the tempo, and from that we had our opportunities on offense," said Pressler. "We played much better defense that we did last week, and I thought Tom Carey had a very good game in goal in his first start as a freshman."

On the day, the Bulldogs would fire off 43 shots to Fairfield's 36 but saw just 17 of them go on net. Stag junior goalie Jack Murphy got a stick on 11 of them, with Carey making six saves in his first-career start. Bryant also won the battle of ground balls, 38-23, and went 1-for-4 on extra-man opportunities.

"At the end of the day, all the credit goes to Fairfield for making the plays they needed to in order to win the game," said Pressler. "We had the opportunity to put the scoreboard on our side, and we just didn't take advantage."

The Bulldogs have another equally challenging opponent up next, as the team hits the road for the first time this season to take on No. 18/18 Bucknell in the third of three-straight games against nationally ranked opponents, Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa.