April 10, 2012

Bryant Blows Out Holy Cross for 9th Straight Win

from press release

WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior attacker Travis Harrington (Vestal, N.Y.) made the most of his second start of the season, scoring a game-high four goals and adding an assist, while linemate Dan Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.) tallied a game-best six points as the 19th-ranked Bryant University men's lacrosse team tied its highest output of the season in a 17-3 win over Holy Cross on the road Tuesday night.

The victory extends the Bulldogs' (10-2) winning streak to nine straight dating back to March 3 and also marks the season's largest margin of victory just three days after topping Northeast Conference rival Mount St. Mary's, 17-9. Bryant scored five goals in each of the first two quarters and held the Crusaders (4-8) scoreless in the second half while getting goals from eight different sources and points from 10 players in the win.

Sipperly's contest-high six points came off a trio of goals and three more assists in a career effort, and the Bulldogs saw the first-career point from rookie Ryan Yunker (Churchville, N.Y.) off an assist on the game's final tally.

"Did I think we were going to score 17 against Holy Cross? Absolutely not," said head coachMike Pressler. "We shared the wealth today, and the key for us was that our attackmen got after the close defense and that was evident all game. It was without a doubt the most complete performance by our four top attackers."

Those four – Harrington, Sipperly, junior Peter McMahon (Wilton, Conn.) and junior Cody Isdaner (Gladwyne, Pa.) – combined for 11 goals and 15 points.

"Travis was on his game today," Pressler added. "I am very proud of him. He had the matchup we liked, he is our most physical dodger, and all four of them were very good today."

After a slow start that saw the Crusaders open up a 2-1 lead in the first, the Bulldogs came out of a called timeout to score four-straight goals in the final 3:04 of the opening quarter. Senior Max Weisenberg (Long Beach, N.Y.) got the stretch started with an unassisted tally, reversing direction under pressure and releasing a bounce shot to tie the score at 2-2.

Junior Mason Poli (Downingtown, Pa.) scored a goal in his fourth-straight game 34 seconds later, the first of two on the day, taking a feed in the middle of the field from midfielder Kyle Crowley (Scituate, Mass.) for a one-timer and the visitors' first lead of the day, 3-2.

Harrington got back on the board with 1:25 to go in the period, picking up the rebound on the doorstep after a save from Holy Cross goalie Kenny O'Connor (6 saves) off the initial shot, depositing the ball in the back of the net from the edge of the crease for the second-chance goal.

With 33 seconds remaining in the frame, Sipperly took a pass from McMahon in close to the cage, dodging his defender to create an opening and score a man-up tally for a 5-2 Bryant lead as the quarter came to an end.

Bryant's dominating offensive output continued through the second, as the Bulldogs extended the run from the previous period with two more for six uninterrupted scores before the Crusaders got back on the board with a wraparound goal from Clay Haarmann with eight to play before the intermission.

But the Black and Gold would get the last three of the half in the closing six minutes, as the Bulldogs killed off 32 seconds of two-man down action after consecutive penalties to Glenn Maiorano (Easton, Conn.) and Tim Clinton (Darien, Conn.) amid a three-goal flurry from McMahon, Sipperly and sophomore middie Colin Dunster (Cos Cob, Conn.).

McMahon notched a one timer from Alex Zomerfeld (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) at the 5:48 mark, completing a quick transition clear after a big save by netminderJameson Love (Darien, Conn.). Sipperly would follow with his second man-advantage tally, dodging a triple team just long enough to create an opening for a 9-3 Bryant lead. Dunster would then end first-half scoring with 30 ticks remaining on the clock, ripping a power shot clean into the upper corner to send the Bulldogs into the break leading, 10-3.

"It's like any other time we've been leading at halftime. Do we let it go to 10-5 or 10-6, or do we push the score to 13-3?" said Pressler. "We came back out strong and outscored them, 3-0, in the third, and that little spurt without a doubt sealed the game for us."

The Crusaders' second-quarter goal would prove to be the last for the home side, as Love and the Bulldogs shut the hosts out in the final 30 minutes of play. Love put up seven saves in the final two quarters for 10 on the day. Bryant, on the other hand, would continue to score, netting three in the third and four more in the fourth frame for the 17-3 final.

"That was an incredible defensive effort to beat them, 7-0, in the second half and hold them scoreless on their home field after the break," said Pressler. "That is to Jameson Love's credit and to the credit of the guys in front of him. And we had some big kills in the second half in man-down situations as well. We were ready for what they were going to do."

The Bulldogs finished the game with 10 unanswered goals as the team went 15-for-22 from the faceoff X and outshot their hosts, 39-27, including a 21-12 margin in the second and third quarters. Bryant picked up 39 ground balls to Holy Cross's 20, grabbing 14 in the second period alone. Zomerfeld paced the game with six, adding to his two-goal, one-assist effort, while senior captain Rob Maiorano (Easton, Conn.) picked up five ground balls in the win.

Rookie faceoff specialist Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) went 14-of-21 from the X on the day with three ground balls while defenseman Glenn Maiorano (Easton, Conn.) recorded half the team's six caused turnovers.

"I was really proud of Kevin because he won a bunch of faceoffs, but not in the way he's accustomed to," said Pressler. "We won them with great wing play. We found a way to get the ball to our offense off the faceoff for what seemed like the entire second half and most of the game, and that's where that 7-0 run originated."

The Bulldogs return to Northeast Conference action for their next outing, as they travel to Hamden, Conn., for a Saturday matchup against league foe Quinnipiac (1 p.m.).


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