Bryant vs. Wagner
April 22, 2012
The Game Story:
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Eighteen different Bulldogs recorded a point, including 16 of them netting a goal, Saturday afternoon as the #19/19 Bryant University men's lacrosse team dominated Northeast Conference opponent Wagner College, 21-3, in the final regular-season home game of the year.

Saturday's contest, which also marked 2012 Senior Day, saw no Bryant player score more than two goals as the Bulldogs (12-3, 4-0 NEC) spread around the scoring and saw the majority of the roster hit the field to stay perfect in league play and set up a winner-take-all showdown with Robert Morris next weekend.

"To be 12-3 and perfect both in the league and at home with one game to go, to be playing for the regular-season title and home field advantage is just so exciting," said head coach Mike Pressler. "We are very very excited about this opportunity, but Robert Morris is the No. 1 offensive team in America, so the challenge for us is going to be incredible."

Wagner (1-12, 1-3) got two of its three tallies in the fourth, as sophomore goalie Niko Dutra (Danville, Calif.) took over for senior captain and four-year starter Jameson Love (Darien, Conn.) between the pipes, with the former making three stops in the final period and Love turning away eight and allowing just a single goal in 45 minutes of action.

Senior Travis Harrington (Vestal, N.Y.) and junior captain Peter McMahon (Wilton, Conn.) led the Bulldogs on the stat sheet with four points apiece, both off a pair of goals and two more assists. Starting sophomore Dan Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.) also netted a pair of tallies, as did junior longpole Mason Poli (Downingtown, Pa.) and sophomore Ryan Jarvis (Annapolis, Md.), whose goals were the first of his collegiate career.

Joining Jarvis with his first-career goal was rookie Ryan Yunker (Churchville, N.Y.), who also dished out two assists for three points on the day, and frosh Davin Lindsay (Whitby, Ont.), who notched the game's final tally -- a man-up score -- with three minutes to play in his first-career appearance as a Bulldog.

Other new faces to get involved in the offensive end included rookie midfielder Kevin Rudd (Berwyn, Pa.), who recorded three points of his own off a goal and two assists, and junior captain Nils Thompson (Ponoka, Alberta) and second-line middie Bo Redpath (Norwich, Vt.), who each collected a tally and an helper in the victory.

"I thought it was an exciting Senior Day, and we were ready to play again," said Pressler. "This took the sting of Friday night [a 11-10 double-overtime loss at #20 Yale] away."

The Bulldogs exploded for six goals in each of the first three periods Sunday, opening the game with four scores in the first five minutes and eventually taking a 12-1 halftime lead into the locker room. Bryant would keep most of its regulars on the sidelines for the fourth quarter, including Love and rookie faceoff phenom Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.), as all three of the Bulldogs' fourth-frame goal scorers notched his first tally of the season in the contest.

Massa was impressive through three quarters against a trio of Seahawk opponents, finishing his day with a 19-of-21 clip before giving way to sophomore Rob Goeren (Massapequa, N.Y.), who won three of the six faceoffs in the final 15 minutes. Bryant finished the game going 22-of-27 from the X.

Wagner would earn its first offensive possession of the game with 4:42 left to play in the opening quarter with the score at 5-0 in Bryant's favor. The Seahawks capitalized on the opportunity, scoring the team's only goal of the three quarters off its first shot of the contest, a Nick DePhillips firing from 15-yards out that beat Love high.

The Bulldogs answered with 1:19 left in the quarter with the first of back-to-back Sipperly goals spanning the two frames for a 6-1 edge after the first 15 minutes of play. Sipperly and Harrington would be the only multi-goal scorers of the first half, each scoring twice as 10 different Bulldogs recorded a tally before the break.

As potent as Bryant's offense was, the Bulldogs struggled with the extra man in the first half, going 0-for-3 before scoring on each of the EMOs of the next two quarters to finish the day 2-for-5 in the category. Bryant's man-down defense kept the Seahawks off the board on two extra man opportunities.

All six offensive starters scored at least one goal for the Black and Gold in the win, as the hosts outshot their visitors, 48-30, on the day, recording double-digit shots in each of the first three stanzas. Bryant's 21 scores marked a new season high, as did the 18-goal margin of victory.

Bryant dominated the ground game with 47 ground balls to Wagner's 16 and were led by a game-high 11 from Massa. Defenseman Glenn Maiorano (Easton, Conn.) forced three caused turnovers as the Bulldogs completed 10 of their 14 clears and held Wagner to just a 13-of-20 mark.

The Bulldogs have one last huge test looming in front of them, though, as the deciding tilt with fellow league leader Robert Morris sits right around the corner (Saturday, 1 p.m.). Bryant will have to travel for the matchup as well, taking on the Colonials on their home turf in Moon Township, Pa., for the 2012 NEC regular-season crown and the right to host the upcoming NEC Tournament.