Bryant Loses Lead, and Providence Takes One-Goal Win

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Bryant held a four-goal lead midway through the third quarter, but a five-goal Providence onslaught took its toll as the Bulldogs fell to the Friars for the first time, 10-9, at the Bryant Turf Complex Tuesday night.

Five-straight goals spanning the third and fourth quarters gave the Friars (6-3) their first lead of the game with 11:09 left in the contest, and while the Bulldogs (1-8) tied it up at 9-9 with a goal from rookie Collins Gantz (Denver, Colo.), PC midfielder Daniel Textor would net the game winner with 4:16 left on the clock to edge the visitors back out in front for good.

The tally was the second of the day for Textor, who scored both goals in unassisted fashion, while attack Sean Wright paced the Friars with three scores on the night. The Bulldogs saw a hat trick off the stick of junior attack Dan Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.), with two more coming from Northeast Conference and NEILA Player of the Week Shane Morrell (Glen Mills, Pa.).

It was a tale of two halves for both sides, as Bryant raced out to a 5-1 lead midway through the second stanza off goals from Morrell (2), Sipperly, senior captain Peter McMahon (Wilton, Conn.) and junior middie Alex Zomerfeld (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) and took a 5-2 edge into halftime after a goal from PC's Robert Stack wrapped up first-half scoring at the 3:56 mark.

Out of the break, the Black and Gold remained in control of the momentum, adding back-to-back Sipperly scores in the first 2:30 for a 7-2 advantage. Friar rookie Brendon McGuire and Textor would equalize those goals in the coming minutes, but Bulldog sophomore Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) renewed a four-score lead for the hosts with an unassisted tally at the 7:46 mark off a clean win at the faceoff.

It would be Bryant's last goal for more than 17 minutes, though, as Andrew Barton and Wright notched unaided scores to close out the third and cut the home team's margin to just 8-6. Wright opened the final period with another unassisted goal 41 seconds in, and with the frame no more than four minutes old, goals from JT Weber and Greg Fitzmaurice not only completed the comeback, but took over the lead, 9-8, with 11:09 to play.

Zomerfeld would dish a pass off to Gantz for the tying goal with 5:40 remaining, but the momentum swing was too much to keep the Friars at bay, as Textor capitalized to net the final tally of the evening and send PC home with a win in the Ocean State Cup opening game.

The Bulldogs dominated most categories on the stat sheet, including shots, 38-31, ground balls, 52-24, and saves, 12-7, but turned the ball over 20 times in the loss, including nine in the third quarter alone. Bryant scored on its only man-up opportunity (McMahon, 5:56 in the first), but went 18 of 22 on the clear to PC's 17 of 18 mark.

Massa, despite tying his career best with three points on the night (1 goal, 2 assists), had his hands full at the faceoff X with his Friar counterpart, Ryan Shaw, but still went 13 of 23 (.565) with a game-high 11 ground balls.

Reigning NEC Rookie and Defensive Player of the Week Tom Carey (New Canaan, Conn.) made nine stops before giving way to sophomore Gunnar Waldt (Freeland, Md.) for the final 7:25 of the game (3 saves).

The Bulldogs will look to get back on track Saturday afternoon, when they kick off league play at home against Quinnipiac at 3:00 p.m.


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