Bulldogs Top Quinnipiac to Advance to NEC Title Game

The evening saw the Bulldogs outshoot the Bobcats, 33-24, as the higher seed won 16 of the game's 21 total faceoffs. Bryant would go 0 for 3 on extra-man opportunities, though, and the team struggled with turnovers, committing 19 giveaways in the contest.

Now, the Bulldogs must look forward to facing the reigning NEC Tournament Champion Mountaineers Sunday afternoon. Bryant topped Mount St. Mary's at home earlier in the season, 14-9, but the four seed isn't afraid of being the underdog after stunning regular-season champ Robert Morris in the first semifinal.

"What happened previously this season ... there's just no correlation," said Pressler. "They are a much different team than we played back then, and we are certainly a different team too. They came out here tonight and knocked off Robert Morris at home in a game that Robert Morris really took it to them, so credit goes to Mount St. Mary's for just a great win to get to the final.

"The Mount St. Mary's team we saw today against Robert Morris is the team we thought we'd see for most of the season," added Pressler. "They've had their ups and downs just as we have, but I said to our guys when we played them last, Mount St. Mary's is as potent a team on offense -as there is in college lacrosse."

* * * *

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. #3-seeded Quinnipiac saw its season come to an end on Friday night, as the Bobcats fell to #2 Bryant in the Northeast Conference semifinals, 11-6, at Joe Walton Stadium on the campus of the #1 seed Robert Morris. Earlier in the day, #4 Mount St. Mary's upset the Colonials in an overtime thriller, leaving a showdown between the Mountaineers and the Bulldogs for the championship on Sunday afternoon.

The Bobcats were led by two Bobcats who registered multiple points for the game. Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.) scored two goals and Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.) assisted on two others. Brandon Kuring (New Milford, Conn.), Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario), Basil Kostaras (Southlake, Texas) and Jay Binkowski (Bethany, Conn.) each appeared in the scoring column with a goal. Pat Corcoran (Stratford, Conn.) and Tom Gilligan (Brookfield, Conn.) were credited with the other two assists.

Quinnipiac, who concluded the season with a 3-14 mark, generated the game's first goal just two minutes after the initial whistle, exactly what Head Coach Eric Fekete and the Bobcats were looking for. Kuring found the back of the cage with a laser from the left side, granting the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.

After Kuring's eighth goal of the season, Bryant answered quickly with three consecutive goals. Alex Zoomerfeld and back-to-back tallies from Brian Schlansker gave the Bulldogs their first lead and a two-goal cushion, 3-1.

However, with time winding down in the first quarter, Jay Binkowski sparked a three-goal QU run with his eighth goal of the campaign. The Bobcats followed with the first two goals of the second quarter, when Kostaras (Corcoran) and Webster (Sagl) went back-to-back, regaining the lead for the Bobcats, 4-3.

The final 10 minutes of the half went in favor of the Bulldogs though, as Bryant rallied off two straight goals before heading to the locker room. Travis Harrington and Peter McMahon found the back of the net, leaving a 5-4 lead for the higher seeded Bulldogs.

The defensive battle continued after the intermission, with only three goals occurring in the third quarter. The teams exchanged the first two tallies, as Wilbur netted his 12th goal of the season off a feed from Sagl for the Bobcats. Unfortunately, Bryant began to click on all cylinders for the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs strung together five straight goals to open up an insurmountable deficit for QU, solidifying a final score of 11-6 and a trip to the championship.

Much of Bryant's success resided in its faceoff percentage this year. Entering the game as the nation's second best team for the category, the Bulldogs sustained a 16-5 advantage in the circle. This allowed Bryant to accumulate 11 more shots than Quinnipiac, ultimately leading to better chances on the offensive end. The Bulldogs also scooped up 37 ground balls compared to 18 from the Bobcats.

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2012-05-05



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