HAMDEN, Conn. - Senior Kevin Kelly (Redding, Conn.) scored five goals to lead three Bobcats with hat tricks as the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team defeated preseason Northeast Conference favorite Robert Morris, 19-15, Saturday afternoon at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 4-4 (2-0 NEC), while the Colonials fall to 5-5 (0-2 NEC).
Christian Haggerty (West Nyack, N.Y.) and Jack Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) joined Kelly in compiling hat tricks with three goals each. Haggerty also added two assists to match Kelly's team-high five points. Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.) scored twice for the second straight game and added an assist. Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario) contributed a goal and a team-best three assists, while Jake Emms (Victoria, British Columbia) added a goal and an assist. Basil Kostaras (Southlake, Texas), Billy Alessi (Branford, Conn.), Jay Binkowski (Bethany, Conn.) and Kevin Benzing (Severna Park, Md.) also scored goals for the Bobcats, while Giuseppe Palermo (Lino Lakes, Minn.) had an assist.
Trevor Moore led Robert Morris with five goals and two assists, while Jake Hayes added three goals. Corbyn Tao-Brambleby and Patrick Smith scored twice each, with Tao-Brambleby adding three assists and Smith chipping in one assist. Taylor Caparosa, Tyler Digby and Rob Marasti each scored once, while Kevin Brownell added three assists. Kiel Matisz had two assists and Caparosa added one helper.
In addition to his first career goal, Benzing stopped 16 Colonials shots to earn the victory in net for the Bobcats. Charles Ruppert took the loss for Robert Morris, making 11 saves, while allowing 18 of the 19 QU goals. Brian Bohn allowed the final Bobcats goal, entering as Quinnipiac went on the man-up.
For the game, the Bobcats won 27-of-38 face-offs, including a 10-for-10 day from Webster. Palermo, seeing his first face-off action of the year, won 11-of-17 attempts. Binkowski also won 6-of-11 opportunities.
Quinnipiac scored the game's first three goals and never trailed. Kelly got things started less than a minute and a half into the first quarter off a Haggerty assist, before Haggerty scored a goal of his own just over two minutes later. Wilbur scored off an Emms assist just over five minutes in to make it 3-0, before Moore temporarily stopped the bleeding for Robert Morris with a goal at the 8:49 mark.
The Bobcats scored the next three goals to extend the lead to 6-1, before Tao-Brambleby closed the first quarter with a goal with 10 seconds left to make it 6-2 Quinnipiac after 15 minutes. Included in the Bobcats' second three-goal burst was Benzing's first-career goal. Recognizing that Ruppert had left the net to mark a Quinnipiac attacker during a clear attempt, Benzing let sail a full-field shot that hit the back of the net on the fly at the 4:49 mark.
The two teams exchanged the first four goals to start the second quarter, before Binkowski and Emms both scored unassisted goals to end the half with Quinnipiac leading, 10-4.
After Robert Morris scored the first two goals of the third quarter, Kelly responded with two goals within eight seconds of each other at the 9:32 and 9:24 marks to again push the lead to six goals, 12-6. Robert Morris scored seven of the next nine goals to cut the deficit to one goal, 14-13, at the 8:52 mark of the fourth quarter. Moore and Hayes scored twice in the span.
But five different Bobcats scored down the stretch and Quinnipiac outscored Robert Morris, 5-2, in the final eight minutes to put the game out of reach for the Colonials.
The Bobcats play their final non-conference game of the season Tuesday, when they welcome Harvard to the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. Opening face-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.