Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/7/16
From Press Release
Shane Morrell (Episcopal Academy, Duke’s LC) scored his third goal of the game 1:28 into overtime to give the Bryant University men’s lacrosse team a stunning 10-9 come-from-behind win over No. 3 and state rival Brown for the coveted Ocean State Cup Tuesday in Providence, R.I.
Bryant trailed, 9-6, with 2:35 to play, but stormed back to force overtime and scored five of the game’s last six goals including the winner, downing No. 2/3 Brown, 11-10, Tuesday night to win the Ocean State Cup in Providence.
Brown’s first possession in OT resulted in a turnover, but they got it back on the clear attempt for Bryant. Molloy fired a shot from the left point that was snared by Waldt. The Bulldogs successfully cleared the ball and Morrell ended up with 30 seconds later. The senior captain made quick work with a winder from the right hip past Kelly’s stick to down Brown in OT and give Bryant its second win over a top-10 Ivy League school this season.
“Gunnar has done that all year for us with timely saves and Shane is never afraid to take the big shot,” said Bryant coach Mike Pressler. “Gunnar made great saves down the stretch at Robert Morris and he’s a fifth-year senior, they’re both captains, making big plays when the team needs them the most.”
The Bulldogs (6-3, 1-0 NEC) were paced by junior midfielder Ryan Sharpe and senior attack Morrell (Glen Mills, Pa.), as the pair registered three goals and an assist each. Junior attackman Tucker James tallied two scores and a helper, while junior mid Tom Forsberg (Huntington, N.Y.) added a goal and two assists. Senior goalie Gunnar Waldt was on the top his game, turning away 17 shots in the win.
The nation’s top point scorer and assists man in Dylan Molloy led the Bears (8-1, 2-0 Ivy League) with a contest-best six points on one goal and five helpers. Attackmen Henry Blynn (Haverford School) and Kylor Bellistri netted two goals apiece, with the former handing out two helpers, and six other Bears tallied points with five of them scoring. Jack Kelly was also stout between the pipes for the hosts, saving 15 shots in a losing effort.
Neither side had led by more than a single goal for the entire first half and most of the third frame. The Bulldogs defended vigorously to start the third, and though it took five minutes for a quality shot, Morrell wrapped around the crease and fired a shot in over the left shoulder of Kelly to tie it at 4-4.
But the Bear’s senior leaders, Molloy, Bailey Tills and Brendan Caputo were able to give the Bears the first multi-goal lead of the game on three-straight scores, making it 7-4 with 4:00 to go. Both sides exchanged goals to end the frame, giving Brown an 8-5 edge heading into the fourth.
“The key for us was it was only a three goal run rather than an eight or nine goal run that they’ve had before this year against other schools,” said Pressler. “We knew they’d go on a run, but we kept it within striking distance to start the fourth and really weathered the storm in the third.”
It was a slow start offensively to start the final stanza, and like the previous frame, Bryant added to the scoreboard first on a Sharpe goal to make it 8-6 with 8:15 to go. But the Bears were able to regain a three-goal edge on Bellistri’s second score with 6:35 remaining, and they held onto that lead for the next four minutes.
Bryant elevated its defense once again from there, as Waldt registered a save, a shot was blocked and sophomore defender Chas South (Lincroft, N.J.) was able to cause a huge turnover at the 3:30 mark. Just a minute later, sophomore mid Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.) fired in a bounce shot that beat Kelly to make it 9-7 with 2:36 to play.
Running out of time, the Bulldogs needed goals in a hurry, down 9-7. Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) won the ensuing faceoff and the visitors got even closer on Sharpe’s second score that was sent beyond Kelly’s right shoulder, making it 9-8 with 1:49 to go. Sharpe completed his hat trick just 40 seconds later after another faceoff win for Massa, tying the game at 9-9.
“Kenny is still a work in progress, but their top faceoff man did not dress tonight, and though he didn’t dress, Kenny won the timely faceoffs in the fourth which was all credited to his great work and we needed him to come up as big as he did,” said Pressler.
But Brown won the next matchup at the X and Larken Kemp picked up the ground ball with his long-stick pole and immediately fired in a shot to give the Bears a 10-9 edge with 53 seconds to play.
Brown won the next faceoff and it appeared as if it would just run out the clock. But the Bulldogs played stymy defense forced a turnover, allowing James to pick up the ground ball and eventually tie the game with 27 seconds remaining.