March 17, 2012

Colonials Rally from Five Down to Beat Hobart

from press release

GENEVA, N.Y. -- Trailing 9-4 with the clock ticking toward halftime, the Robert Morris University men's lacrosse team found its groove and went on a 10-3 run over the final 36 minutes of the game to post a 14-12 victory at Hobart Saturday afternoon at Boswell Field.RMU claimed its first win against Hobart in three tries thanks, in part, due to strong individual performances on both the offensive and defensive end.

Senior Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) tied his career high for points by posting his second seven-point outing in RMU's past three games, becoming the fifth Colonial all-time to own multiple seven-point efforts. Matisz notched five goals and two assists to move into fourth place in career points (134) at Robert Morris and into a tie for second in career assists (59). Matisz, who now has 33 multi-point games and 19 multi-goal games, has now reached at least six points in three of the past four games and has tallied at least four points in eight of the past 10 games.

Redshirt junior Dillon Pope (Smithtown, N.Y. / Smithtown West) claimed his second straight start in between the pipes and again helped RMU to a victory courtesy of a notable effort. He registered a career-high and team season-best 17 saves and has now stopped at least 13 shots in each of the Colonials' past three games. Pope also helped RMU continue its streak of notching double-digit team save totals in every game this season.

Redshirt senior Kevin Brownell (Burlington, Ontario / Central) and junior Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta / Central Memorial) supported Matisz on the offensive end as each supplied three goals.

It marked Brownell's first-career hat trick and 11th overall multi-goal game as he notched all three of his scores during RMU's big run.

With Hayes' trio of tallies, he broke his career high for goals in a season while notching his seventh-career hat trick. Hayes, the nation's leader in shooting percentage at the beginning of the week, now has five multi-goal games this season and is also the lone Colonial to have notched a multi-point effort in every game thus far this season.

Junior Tyler Digby (Westminster, British Columbia / New Westminster) collected three assists on the day to collect his fourth-ever game with at least three points and his seventh multi-point output overall.

Hobart jumped on top right away in the contest and opened up a 5-1 lead fewer than 17 minutes into the contest.

Senior Casey Abbott (San Jose, Calif. / Bellarmine Prep.) and Matisz then tallied back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to two, but Hobart then went on a 4-1 run to claim a five-goal edge, 9-4, near the middle of the second quarter.

With the momentum and the tide of the game seemingly against the Colonials, RMU admirably responded with a fury as it went on a 6-0 run over a 10:36 stretch, spanning halftime, to take its first lead of the game.

Matisz scored twice during the stretch while Brownell, Hayes, redshirt sophomore Taylor Graves (Carlsbad, Calif. / Carlsbad) and redshirt junior Dave Morton (Orangeville, Ontario / Hill School) each added one goal.

Hobart was able to momentarily slow the RMU tide as it outscored the Colonials 2-1 for the remainder of the third quarter, tying the game at 11 after 45 minutes of action.

Matisz and Hayes scored within the first 6:10 of the fourth to put RMU up by two, but Hobart was able to get one back to cut the Colonial lead to 13-12. Brownell put home what proved to be the game's final score with 5:34 remaining, reestablishing RMU's two-goal edge.

The Colonials limited the Statesmen's chances down the stretch as Hobart only managed to get one shot attempt off over the game's final six minutes, an attempt which Pope saved.

Graves and Morton both added an assist to collect their third and second multi-point games of the season, respectively.

Freshman Jacob Ruest (Cornwall, Ontario / The Hill Academy) notched his first-collegiate assist on the goal that began RMU's comeback.

RMU outshot the Statesmen for the contest and also committed a season-low 14 turnovers.

Redshirt junior Mike Meagher (Chesterfield, Mo. / St. Louis University) posted a team-best and career-high six ground balls Saturday against Hobart. He also moved into a tie for fourth in career caused turnovers as he settled alongside his current assistant coach, Dan Mulford, with 36 career CT.

With the win, Robert Morris has now won five of its first six games that have come away from home this season.

RMU will close its second three-game roadtrip of the season as it plays during the middle of the upcoming week. The Colonials will travel to Bucknell for the first time in school history Tuesday, March 20. The opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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