No. 10 Colgate Wins Overtime Thriller at Bryant in Opener

It was the first of four-straight Colgate goals, however, as the Raiders came out of the intermission on a tear, taking the clock down to 1:23 and the score up to 10-8 in the visitors' favor with consecutive unassisted scores by Ryan, Baum and Clarkson.

"I was very disappointed with our response after halftime," said Pressler. "We gave Colgate the opportunity to get right back in the game, so that was very disappointing from our point of view."

Bryant junior Dan Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.) would close the margin to one, 10-9, before the third quarter expired, but the Bulldogs would never find their way back on top, playing catch up throughout the fourth despite forcing overtime.

On the day, Colgate outshot Bryant, 59-37, but held just a 28-24 advantage in shots on goal. Sophomore faceoff specialist Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) went 20 of 31 from the X, picking up a game-best 12 ground balls, just one shy of his career high. He also chipped in an assist on the effort.

Bryant edged out its visitors in the ground ball game, 33-31, with senior defenseman Glenn Maiorano (Easton, Conn.) adding nine to the team's effort. The Bulldogs struggled with turnovers throughout the game, however, giving the ball away 21 times while going 17 of 22 on the clear and just 1 for 5 on man-up opportunities.

"We had our chance in overtime," said Pressler. "We went to an inverted set with Gantz, got a great look in front of the goal, and we just didn't make the play. At the end of the day, in overtime, you want to make sure that at least you have your chance. We had our chance and couldn't get it done. They had their chance and did."

The Bulldogs will return to action Saturday afternoon against their second of three-straight ranked opponents, welcoming No. 16/16 Fairfield to the Bryant Turf Complex for a 1:00 p.m. faceoff.

* * * *

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Except for cold temperatures and mountains of snow ringing the Bryant Turf Complex, Sunday's lacrosse season opener had all the atmosphere of a mid-May NCAA playoff bout.

Tight from start to finish, Colgate prevailed when Jimmy Ryan rifled home a game-winner midway through the first overtime to lift the Raiders to a thrilling 14-13 win over Bryant.

“Today was not a normal season-opener,” Colgate head coach Mike Murphy said. “You've got two very good teams. Bryant is the defending NEC champ and they are a bear at home. They were undefeated here last year.”

Colgate entered Sunday ranked 10th and 11th nationally in the major preseason polls. Bryant was unranked but receiving votes.

Both teams sported matching 14-4 records a year ago, and good things are in store again this season if Sunday's action was any indication. Colgate scored first in all four periods – and, of course, in the sudden-death overtime – but there were six ties, four lead changes and neither team led by more than two goals.

“Any time you're playing a Mike Pressler-coached team, you know you're going to find a bunch of tough hombres,” Murphy said of the Bulldogs. “It's a good road victory for us, and I'm proud of the way my team played for 60 minutes. It might not have been pretty, but they gutted it out.”

Trailing 13-11, the Bulldogs tied this see-saw affair one final time with two goals in the final three minutes. Bryant's Brian Schlansker made it 13-all with just eight seconds left in regulation, doing the honors on a low rocket from the left wing.

But the Raiders fought off Bryant's initial possession in overtime to set the stage for Ryan's heroics.

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2013-02-10



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