SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team dropped its Northeast Conference opener Saturday afternoon as the Bobcats fell on the road to Bryant, 17-7, at the Bulldog Turf Complex. With the loss, Quinnipiac falls to 3-5 overall, while the Bulldogs improve to 2-8 on the season.
Quinnipiac was led by Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.) who tallied his eighth and ninth goals of the season. Pat Corcoran (Stratford, Conn.) finished with a goal and an assist; while Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.), Chris Messina (West Islip, N.Y.), Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.) and Connor Meth (Basking Ridge, N.J.) each added one apiece. Billy Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) was credited with an assist.
Bryant, who entered as the NEC's worst offensive team, raced out of the gate with the game's first five goals in four minutes of action. Colin Dunster scored back-to-back goals, followed by tallies from Peter McMahon, Alex Zomerfeld and Mason Poli.
Quinnipiac got on the board with consecutive scores of its own when Wilbur and Messina found the nylon, cutting the Bryant lead to just three goals. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, that's as close as they would come after a monstrous rally from the Bulldogs. Bryant rallied off 10 straight goals, capped off by Sipperly's third goal of the game midway through the third quarter.
The Bobcats showed fight in the last 20 minutes of play though, netting five unanswered goals of their own. Wilbur scored his second goal of the game with 4:23 left in the third, which saw two more Quinnipiac goals before period's end. Sagl scored with 59 seconds left in the stanza to extend his point streak to 12 straight games; and Corcoran netted another with just six seconds left, leaving a 15-5 Bryant advantage entering the fourth quarter.
Diehl and Meth cut the deficit to eight goals, 15-7, with back-to-back tallies to start the final frame, but the Bulldogs put the game out of reach with two more in the closing minutes.
Boasting the nation's best faceoff percentage, Bryant dominated the circle, and therefore controlled time of possession as well. The Bulldogs edged the Bobcats, 24-4, on the faceoff, 59-33, in shots, and 52-21 in groundballs. Bryant was also 4-of-7 on the man-up and didn't commit a penalty in the game.
Dunster finished with a game-high five points on four goals and an assist for Bryant. Sipperly and Poli had three goals each.
Quinnipiac resumes Northeast Conference play next Saturday, April 6th, at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field. The Bobcats welcome Mount St. Mary's to Hamden for a 12 p.m. tilt.
Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2013 Quinnipiac Men's Lacrosse Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.