No. 18 Bryant Captures NEC Victory at Robert Morris

Moon Township, Pa. April 19, 2014 Robert Morris lacrosse senior Sean Meagher (Chesterfield, Mo./St. Louis University) topped his own single-season program record in caused turnovers this afternoon as the Colonials fell to No. 18 Bryant, 13-6.

With the loss, Robert Morris (5-8, 2-4 NEC) is eliminated from Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament contention and sees its streak of five consecutive winning seasons snapped.

Meagher, who finished the day with four caused turnovers, originally broke the record last season with 38.

Freshman JonPatrik Kealey (Ottawa, Ontario/South Carleton) led the Colonials with two goals on the afternoon. Sophomore Eric Rankel (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) added a goal and two assists.

RMU was held scoreless in the opening quarter for the first time this season as Bryant (11-3, 4-1 NEC) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. Meagher halted that run to begin the second frame as he won the face-off and scored his fourth goal of the season. Redshirt senior Taylor Graves (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad) was credited with the assist.

The Bulldogs traded goals with the Colonials, as a Tucker James tally was off-set by Kealey's first of two goals. The freshman would add his second a few minutes later after Bryant scored twice in 17 seconds.

RMU made a run in the third quarter, cutting the Bulldogs' halftime advantage from 8-3 to 8-6 thanks to goals from sophomore Jacob Ruest (Cornwall, Ontario/The Hill Academy), Rankel, and Graves.

However, that would be as close as the Colonials would get, as Bryant scored five unanswered goals to set the final.

Senior Brian Bohn (Mars, Pa./Seneca Valley) and junior Matt Bukovac (Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods) split time between the pipes for RMU. Bohn allowed eight goals and made eight saves in 31:33, while Bukovac stopped two shots and allowed five tallies in 28:27.

Meagher now has 94 caused turnovers for his career, 29 more than second-place Ben Lewis (2010-13).

Today's game was the final one at Joe Walton Stadium for seven Colonials: Bohn, Graves, Ryan Higgins (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West), Eric Madigan (Ashburn, Va./Sacred Heart University), Justin McLiverty (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland), Meagher, and Tyler Rankel (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West).

Robert Morris finishes its season next weekend at Michigan. The non-conference meeting between the Colonials and Wolverines is scheduled for a noon start on Saturday, April 26 from Michigan Stadium.

* * * *

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. Senior attack Dan Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y.) found the back of the net four times while sophomore linemate Shane Morrell (Glen Mills, Pa.) contributed a game-best six points to lead the No. 18 Bryant lacrosse team to a 13-6 victory over Robert Morris on the road, clinching a spot in the 2014 Northeast Conference Tournament.

The Bulldogs (11-3, 4-1 NEC) led the entire contest, starting off the game with a four-goal lead and scoring five uninterrupted markers to close out the game despite Robert Morris (5-8, 2-4) pulling back within two late in the third. Bryant dominated the stat sheet in its 11th victory of the season, outshooting the Colonials, 40-33, and winning the ground ball battle, 42-28.

"We knew going into the last two games, we had to get to four wins in the conference," said Bryant head coach Mike Pressler, "and to do that by beating a very good Robert Morris team on the road makes me very, very proud of my guys."

Morrell's six points and four assists both mark career highs, while senior Colin Dunster (Cos Cob, Conn.) added his fifth hat trick of the season and finished with four points on the day. Rookie Tucker James (Essex Fells, N.J.) also added a pair while the Bulldogs received single tallies from sophomore midfielder Collins Gantz (Denver, Colo.) and junior faceoff specialist Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.). Massa was stellar at the X, as well, winning 15 of 21 with 20 ground balls.

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