Bryant Beats Providence for Fifth Straight Victory
from press release
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior midfielder Max Weisenberg (Long Beach, N.Y.) broke a 3-3 tie with 2:10 to play before the halftime break and the Bryant University men's lacrosse team never looked back in Tuesday night's 9-4 topping of intrastate rival Providence College at Lennon Family Field in the opening game of the 2012 Ocean State Cup.
The victory upped the Bulldogs' winning streak to five straight and kept Bryant (6-2) perfect in the all-time series against the Friars (1-6).Weisenberg's goal was the second of back-to-back unassisted tallies that saw the momentum swing from the home side to the Black and Gold late in the second quarter.
But until the consecutive scores, Bryant couldn't get any separation from its host, taking a pair of one-goal leads in the opening stanza before the game's only man-up goal of the day from Andrew Barton knotted the contest at 2-2 with 3:15 left in the first.
Greg Fitzmaurice gave Providence its first and only edge of the night nearly four minutes into the second, 3-2, but three-straight Bulldog goals sent the Black and Gold into halftime with a 5-3 advantage.
"We had that string of three goals in a row to close out the half with the lead, a run sparked by a pair of goals from Max," said head coach Mike Pressler. "Going into halftime up two on the road against the best Providence team we've seen since the beginning of this rivalry was, without question, huge for us tonight. And then we never relinquished the lead in the second half, and I thought that was crucial as well."
After nine scoreless minutes to open the third frame, Barton pulled the Friars back within one, 5-4, with 6:02 remaining in the stanza, but it would mark the last time Providence would beat the Bryant defense, as the Bulldogs scored four unanswered goals to close out the game in commanding fashion.
Senior Travis Harrington (Vestal, N.Y.) started the game-ending spurt with 1:29 to go in the third with an unassisted tally before sophomore Alex Zomerfeld (Port Jefferson, N.Y.)took a lateral pass from classmate Colin Dunster (Cos Cob, Conn.) from 10 yards out to open fourth-quarter scoring 71 seconds into the final frame.
Dunster himself would get on the board for the first time in the game with 3:52 left on the clock with an unassisted goal, and junior Cody Isdaner (Gladwyne, Pa.) – assisted by longpole Mason Poli (Downingtown, Pa.) – netted the final tally of the day 10 seconds later for the final 9-4 margin.
"At the end of the day, when a team only scores four goals on you, and you only let up one in the second half, you've won it on defense, and that was true tonight," said Pressler. "We didn't have the ball hardly at all in the third, and the defense, particularly Jameson Love, came up huge. Jameson continues to make a difference when you need him the most."
The Bulldogs also saw junior captain Peter McMahon (Wilton, Conn.) chip in a pair of points on the day with a goal late in the first and an assist on the game's opening score, extending his consecutive points-scored streak to 39-straight games.
The Bulldogs outshot their opponents, 33-27, firing 11 shots in the second frame, and again dominated the ground ball game, 38-22. Six of those ground balls came from both Poli and sophomore defenseman Glenn Maiorano (Easton, Conn.), who also tied the game high with three caused turnovers.
At the faceoff, rookie Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) was challenged by a pair of PC specialists but came out on top, winning nine of the game's 17 restarts. A big part of the Bulldogs' win, though, came in the form of senior goalie Jameson Love (Darien, Conn.), who posted 11 saves in a full 60-minute effort. Love's counterpart in Christian Dzwilewski made six stops and picked up a pair of ground balls.
"Any 'W' is well taken, particularly one on the road against one of your rivals," said Pressler. "To come back after the [double-overtime] Stony Brook win and get this sends a lot of momentum our way heading into the start of NEC play and Sacred Heart this Saturday."