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Philly D1 men’s roundup: @DrexelMensLax triumphs; @PennStateMLax, @LehighLacrosse fall

Saturday, 7th March 2015

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/7/15
From Press Releases

Ryan Belka recorded six points as Drexel rallied from an early three-goal deficit to defeat Bryant, 11-8, at Vidas Field on Saturday afternoon. The Dragons won for the second straight time and improved to 2-4 on the season, while the Bulldogs dropped to 1-4.

With the game tied at 7-7, Drexel took the lead for good late in the third period. Chris Frederick set up Cole Shafer at the right of the cage and the sophomore went behind his back to put the Dragons up 8-7. With just 20 seconds remaining in the third, Belka fed Jules Raucci, who fired a shot past Bryant goalkeeper Gunnar Waldt to give the Dragons a two-goal cushion heading into the final period.

The Bulldogs trimmed the deficit to one less than a minute later when Collins Gantz made it a 9-8 game just 37 seconds into the final quarter. That would be the last goal the Bulldogs would get as the Dragons’ defense forced four fourth-quarter turnovers. Frank Fusco gave Drexel an insurance goal as he jammed a shot home as he was leveled coming to the front of the cage with just over six minutes to go. The Dragons closed the scoring on the extra man as Belka dunked one home with the Bryant keeper out of his cage in the closing seconds.

Bryant raced out to an early 4-1 lead in the game. The Bulldogs scored just two minutes into the game on a Tucker James goal and got on the board again in the final minutes of the first quarter when Shane Morrell (Episcopal Academy) converted a feed from Cam Ziegler. The Dragons finally got on the board when Mitch de Snoo found freshman Michael Kay from behind the net right at the crease for an easy score. The Bulldogs answered moments later on a Ziegler goal and went ahead by three when Gantz scored in the opening minute of quarter number two.

Drexel was able to score four straight goals to take the lead briefly before intermission before Bryant tied it up a 5-5. Joe Rainoldi, Shafer, Belka and Mason Pynn scored in Drexel’s 4-0 run which spanned just under nine minutes. Gantz finally broke the run with 2:32 to play before intermission. The Dragons were able to go to half even despite committing nine first half turnovers.

The game shaped up as a battle of two of the best face-off men in the nation and it didn’t disappoint. Kevin Massa won 12 face offs he had against fellow Huntington, N.Y. native and All-American Nick Saputo. Saputo won 11.

Belka, who had four goals and two assists, had six points for the second time this season. The senior has six goals and four assists in the last two games, both Drexel wins. Cole Shafer finished with a pair of scores and an assist. Jimmy Joe Granito started for the second straight game and again recorded the win. He had nine saves in the contest.

Gantz had a big day for the Bulldogs, finishing with four goals. Morrell and Ziegler each had three points. Waldt had nine saves in the cage for Bryant. The Dragons outshot Bryant, 33-29, in a fairly even game statistically. Drexel had one more ground ball than the Bulldogs and had 13 turnovers, compared to 14 for the visitors.

Jules Raucci (Garnet Valley) scored once and Miles Thomas (Conestoga) had two caused turnovers and a groundball. Connor Dent (St. Joseph’s Prep) had three groundballs and a turnover.

Harvard 12, Penn State 9

Connor Darcey recorded the most saves for a Nittany Lion since 2012, but the Lions fell to No. 13/16 Harvard.

Dan Craig, Mike Sutton (St. Augustine Prep) and Drake Kreinz each scored a pair for the Nittany Lions (2-3). Pat Manley, Matt Florence and Ryan Guittare (Garnet Valley) added tallies, while TJ Sanders dished out two helpers and Nick Aponte recorded one assist.

In the cage for Penn State, Darcey made 18 saves, the most for a Nittany Lion since 2012. Bryan Moore turned away 12 shots for the Crimson (3-1). Harvard out-shot Penn State, 46-31. Sutton’s nine shots was a career high, and Craig’s seven shots was a season best. The Crimson narrowly edged the Nittany Lions in the ground ball battle, 27-26. Kreinz scooped up a team-best six ground balls. Harvard also beat Penn State by one at the face-off ‘X’, 12-11. On the man-up, the Crimson went 1-for-4, while the Nittany Lions were 0-for-4.

Bucknell 9, Lehigh 8

The Mountain Hawks scored five second-quarter goals to take a 7-6 lead at the half, but the Mountain Hawks only scored once the rest of the way and Bucknell took advantage as the Bison pulled out an overtime victory at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

Senior Dan Taylor led the offense with three goals and an assist while all six starting midfielders and attackmen tallied at least one point. With the loss, Lehigh falls to 2-3 and 1-2 in the Patriot League while the Bison improve to 3-2 and 2-1 in league play.

Taylor finished with four or more points for the fifth time in as many games this season. The hat trick was his fourth this season and 18th of his career. Junior Billy Oppenheimer (Geemntown Academy) added three points (one goal, two assists) while senior Alan Henderson dished two assists. Freshman Nolan Apers scored a career-high two goals.

Defensively, junior Casey Eidenshink (La Salle) had four groundballs and a big caused turnover in overtime to give the Mountain Hawks the ball. That led to a great opportunity from Oppenheimer which was stopped by Bucknell goalie Sam Grinberg.

Both goaltenders were sensational as Grinberg made 14 stops while Poillon tied a season-high 16 saves for a second straight week.

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