Bernstein's, Defense Dominate in Opener at NDNU

BELMONT, Calif. - Dominican was a band of brothers on Saturday. Freshman Cody Bernstein had a hat trick and four assists in his debut and older brother Jake set him up for all three tallies, as eight different Penguins scored in a season-opening, defense-dominating 18-3 victory over rival Notre Dame de Namur. The brothers combined for five goals and eight assists.

"It definitely felt like high school [Lake Washington in Washington state] again. It's some kind of connection we have about knowing where each other is on the field," Cody said. "I just happened to be open and he happened to find me. We don't have to be brothers to do that, but it's cool."

Grant Clifford, another Dominican freshman, scored three goals, as did senior co-captain Cam Evangelho and Jake Fritz, who netted two of his three goals seven seconds apart in the second period when the Penguins outscored the Argonauts (0-1/0-1) 7-1. Meanwhile, Dominican goalie Sean Donohue recorded seven saves playing behind a Penguins defense that rarely allowed deep penetration by NDNU on the offensive end.

"We talk consistency on the defensive end. Consistency in our communication results in consistency in our actions. That's what we saw today," said Head Coach Ned Webster. "Other than a couple of times, I felt everyone did their job and trusted each other."

Offensively, the Penguins were slow to start, yet patient until they became methodical. They scored the game's first seven goals, including beautiful combo passes by the Bernsteins to set up Clifford for his first career goal at Dominican.

Defensively, the Penguins were solid thanks to outstanding efforts by Austin Frank, Tai Sing Hee, Brian Raaka, and Dane Farguson, among others. The only time the Argonauts got real deep and downhill in the first half against Dominican was when NDNU scored following an unforced turnover. The Penguins responded to that by scoring seven answered goals including four all by different players in the span of 2:19 in the third period when Dominican built a 14-1 lead with 4:12 remaining in the period.

Conor Doyle finished with a career-best two goals for the Penguins while co-captain Brock Beall and Ian Nickel (with the first goal in his Dominican career) entered the scoring column. Dylan Acevedo, Blake Crossman, and Kevin Powers were among the eight Dominican players who helped notch 14 team assists.

"Everything we do on the offensive end of the field is predicated on making others better and sharing the ball," Webster said. "That makes us dynamic. Having eight guys score feels good."

The best one of the bunch was a back-to-the-goal, over-the-shoulder, no-look shot by Clifford off a Crossman pass.

The Penguins will make their 2013 home season debut on Saturday, March 2, against Chestnut College, the 10th-ranked team in the country in Lacrosse Magazine's preseason poll. It will be Dominican's first regular-season lacrosse match on the new Jerry Kennelly Field in the John F. Allen Athletics Complex. Game time is 1:00 p.m.


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