Le Moyne vs. Bryant
May 17, 2008
The Game Story:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A nine-goal outburst in the second half propelled the No. 1 Le Moyne College men’s lacrosse team to an 11-2 victory over No. 2 Bryant University in National Semifinal action at the Thomas J. Niland Athletic Complex. With the win, the Dolphins earned their fourth National Championship appearance in five seasons. Le Moyne will meet No. 2 NYIT on May 25 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

First-half action mirrored the low-scoring contest the Dolphins and Bulldogs played in the Northeast-10 Conference Finals. Alex Bily and Mike McDonald scored goals in the game’s first nine minutes for Le Moyne. But a swarming Bryant defense held the Dolphins’ high-powered offense scoreless for the final 22 minutes of the first half. The Bulldogs found their offensive punch with last-second goals to end the first and second quarters. Brad Burton scored with three seconds left in the first and Kevin Hoagland netted the equalizer with nine seconds remaining in the second to force a 2-2 tie at halftime.

Le Moyne’s second-half response was remarkable, highlighted by a seven-goal third quarter that produced three goals in less than three minutes. Nick Gatto scored just over two minutes into the second half and Brad Wolken, Bily and Brian Cost followed with a flurry of goals to score a 6-2 lead at the 8:18 mark of the third quarter. Jack Venditti and Mike Rabbitt joined in the offensive attack by tacking on scores in the final five minutes. And with one second left on the clock in the third quarter, Brooks Robinson fired a goal past Bryant goalkeeper Michael Kennedy to push the Dolphin lead to 9-2.

The Dolphins added two insurance goals in the fourth quarter. Long-stick defender Marc Cizenski scored his first goal of the season 17 seconds into the final quarter and Cost registered his second score of the game with just over four minutes left.

Le Moyne’s defensive unit, which has failed to allow more than seven goals in a game this season, was spectacular throughout. Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year Drew Bezek, Andrew Carducci, Mike Malone, Tim MacLean and Cizenski anchored a Le Moyne defense that forced 19 turnovers and collected 16 ground balls. Netminder Dou g McIver finished with nine saves in the game, including several stops at point-blank range to secure a scoreless second half.

Bily led the Dolphins with five points on the afternoon. Cost finished with a pair of goals and Gatto and Venditti each collected three points.

No. 1 Le Moyne will travel to Foxboro, Mass. to face No. 2 NYIT in the Division II National Championship. The Bears knocked off No. 4 Limestone, 11-8, in the other National Semifinal game. Seeking their third straight national crown, the Dolphins are slated to meet the Bears at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 25. Click on the icon to the right for information regarding the championship game at Gillette Stadium.

Michael Bersani – Sports Information Assistant

Le Moyne 11 Bryant 2

Bryant.............. 1 1 0 0 - 2
Le Moyne............ 2 0 7 2 - 11

Bryant SCORING: GOALS: Kevin Hoagland 1; Brad Burton 1. ASSISTS: Ryan Tibbitts 1.

Le Moyne SCORING: GOALS: Alex Bily 2; Brian Cost 2; Nick Gatto 1; Jack Venditti 1; Mike McDonald 1; Brad Wolken 1; Mike Rabbitt 1; Marc Cizenski 1; Brooks Robinson 1. ASSISTS: Alex Bily 3; Nick Gatto 2; Jack Venditti 2; Andrew Carducci 1.