April 10, 2011

Bryant Upsets NEC-Leading Quinnipiac

from press release

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After a quiet first half, rookie Katherine Keckeisen (Danbury, Conn.) finally had her say in the second in a big way, recording her fourth-career hat trick in arguably the biggest game of the season, tying the score against league-leading Quinnipiac before netting the eventual game winner as the Bryant University women's lacrosse team stunned the Bobcats, 11-9, to hand them their first Northeast Conference loss of 2011.

Keckeisen's goals, all unassisted, each came after the break, as the frosh scored consecutive tallies just 42 seconds apart to knot the score at 7-7 and added a third with 4:05 to play that would serve as the game-winning goal, but she had quite a bit of help getting the Bulldogs (5-8, 4-2 NEC) to that point, as Bryant needed eight second-half scores to climb out of an early hole and record its second win of the weekend.

Rookie sticks scored eight of the Bulldogs' 11 tallies, and the home side didn't see its first advantage of the game until more than 13 minutes into the second session. But the momentum came long before that, as Bryant scored three goals in the final 2:30 of the first period to cut into a four-goal Quinnipiac (7-4, 4-1) lead and send the Bobcats to the locker room with just a 5-3 edge after dominating much of the first frame play.

A Mary Green (Merrick, N.Y.) free position goal 19 seconds into the second stanza, the junior's second tally of the game, cut the score to 5-4 quickly, but Quinnipiac's Marissa Caroleo didn't need long to get it back off a Sarah Allen feed less than a minute later.

The teams would trade scores again, including a Laura Iannotti unassisted goal – one of four from the attacker – to post a 7-5 score in favor of the visitors on the board with just under 20 minutes to go.

But at the 17:46 mark, Keckeisen's first goal of the day would jumpstart a five-goal Bryant tear that ran the clock all the way down to 2:16 before the Bobcats found Bulldog net again. But by that point, with no momentum to run on, the Bobcat offense was just too late to negate Bryant's then three-goal lead, 10-7, as Emily Bogan (Swansea, Mass.) chipped in an empty netter to make the score 11-8 with just 1:13 on the clock.

Quinnipiac would tack on one more, but as the Bulldogs won the ensuing draw control, the Black and Gold were able to hold on and run out the clock for arguably the biggest victory of the season, 11-9.

Rookie Kimberley Sniffen (Redding, Conn.) and junior captain Lauren Sheridan (Bethpage, N.Y.) also chipped in goals during the five-score run that was bookended by Keckeisen tallies, while frosh Lindsey Gilfeather (Pleasantville, N.Y.) chipped in her third goal in the last two games after getting her second start of the season.

First-year attacker Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.) also netted a pair in the outing, including Bryant's first of the day at the 13:56 mark of the first half, cutting into Quinnipiac's then 4-0 lead.

The Bulldogs took more shots (31-22), picked up more ground balls (20-18) and won more draw controls (12-10) that their competition, who sat in sole possession of first place in the NEC standings entering Sunday's game. Bryant's defense stood strong, forcing the Bobcats into 18 turnovers while causing seven of them, led by two from Green.

Junior Lauren Filippone (West Babylon, N.Y.) made five stops between the pipes and picked up a game-high four ground balls to preserve the win, while Noelle Martello took the loss after posting 10 saves before being pulled for backup Lexi DeStefano in the waning minutes of the contest.

The Bulldogs return to action Thursday night in their home finale and 2011 Senior Day, hosting NEC foe Central Connecticut at the Bryant Turf Complex at 7 p.m.

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