March 11, 2014

Massa's Big Day Leads Bryant Past Monmouth

from Press Release

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Junior faceoff specialist Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) went 20-of-24 from the X with 16 ground balls to lead the No. 18/20 Bryant University men's lacrosse team, who saw 10 different players get on the board in a 12-7 win over Monmouth Tuesday afternoon on the road.

The Bulldogs (4-2) were paced by two goals apiece from senior JK Poirier (Coatesville, Pa.) and sophomore Shane Morrell (Glen Mills, Pa.), with the latter adding a pair of assists for a game-best four points. Monmouth (0-5) got two scores from Tyler Keen with a goal and an assist from five different player in the contest.

The Hawks kept the game close through the opening two quarters, cutting the Bulldogs' 2-0 first-period lead – scored on unassisted markers by sophomore Collins Gantz (Denver, Colo.) and senior Rob Goeren (Massapequa, N.Y.) – in half in the opening moments of the second with Keen's first tally, assisted by Tim Kemner.

An unaided Poirier goal was answered by Zach Johannes for just a 3-2 margin in favor of the visitors, but Morrell would put the Black and Gold on top, 5-2, entering the intermission with back-to-back scores, the second of which was assisted by senior middie Alex Zomerfeld(Port Jefferson, N.Y.).

Monmouth came out of the halftime break to draw first blood, with Dan Bloodgood taking an Eric Berger pass 1:16 into the third for a 5-3 margin, but Bryant would break away from there, thanks to three uninterrupted scores.

The first came from senior attack Dan Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.), assisted by Morrell, with 10:14 to go, followed by a Massa tally that came off one of five faceoff wins in the frame.Brian Schlansker (Glenville, N.Y.) made it 8-3 with just over five to go in the third in unassisted fashion, but the Hawks would stop the streak at three with a Kemner score with 40 ticks remaining on the third-quarter clock.

Senior Colin Dunster (Cos Cob, Conn.) took a feed from linemate Zomerfeld 24 seconds into the fourth for a 9-4 Bulldog advantage, and Poirier found the back of the net for the second time just more than a minute later for a 10-4 lead, the visitors' largest of the game.

A Chris Daly score was answered by goals from reigning Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week Tucker James (Essex Fells, N.J.) (assisted by Gantz) and redshirt-freshman longpoleCody O'Donnell (Smithfield, R.I.) (assisted by Goeren) for a 12-6 Bryant lead. And while Keen got back on the board with 1:36 remaining, it was the last tally of the day for either side for the 12-7 final.

The Bulldogs nearly doubled their opponents in shots, 45-25, and more than doubled the Hawks in the ground ball game, 45-19. Massa's 16 led that charge, followed by four from James. Despite the win, Bryant struggled to stay clean on offense and committed 20 turnovers to Monmouth's 13. Sophomore goalie Gunnar Waldt (Freeland, Md.) made seven stops in the win, with 14 coming from the home combination of Nick Hreshko (4 saves) and Garrett Conaway (10 saves).

The Bulldogs return to action this Saturday, March 15, when they travel upstate New York for a 1 p.m. matchup against No. 13 Albany.

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