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Bryant uses big first quarter to tally 15-7 win over Manhattan in 2018 season opener

Photo by Bryant Athletic Communications
Photo by Bryant Athletic Communications

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshman Marc O'Rourke (Hingham, Mass.) tallied three goals and two assists in his collegiate debut, while senior Cam Ziegler (Carlsbad, Calif.) added three goals and an assist, as the Bryant University men's lacrosse team won its 2018 season opener 15-7 over Manhattan Saturday afternoon at the Bryant Track & Turf Complex.

Redshirt-sophomore Jake Buonaiuto (Miller Place, N.Y.) and freshman Austin Kent (Franklin, Mass.) scored two goals each for the Bulldogs, who won their third-straight season opener.

Bryant opened up a 7-1 first-quarter lead with two goals each from O'Rourke and Ziegler and led 10-3 at the half.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 15, Manhattan 7
Records: Bryant (1-0), Manhattan (0-1)
Location:
Bryant Track & Turf Complex (Smithfield, R.I.)

COACH PRESSLER'S COMMENTS

"We talked in the locker room about our ability to be ready to go, and if the other team wasn't, it was an opportunity to pounce on the first quarter and get us going in the right direction. Without question, that turned out to be the case."

"Marc O'Rourke is a very talented young player. He sees the game at a very high level intellectually and demonstrated that from the very first day this fall."

"Due to some injuries in the midfield, Austin Kent got a start in the first midfield and I thought Austin overall was terrific at both ends of the field. Senior Tommy Vailas did a great job of getting this team ready and did a great job in his role in the first midfield."

KEY MOMENT

  • Bryant scored five times in the final 4:15 of the first quarter on a 5-0 run started by O'Rourke's first two collegiate tallies. The Bulldogs led 7-1 through 15 minutes.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Ziegler and graduate student Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) scored nine seconds apart to give Bryant a 2-0 lead with 13:23 remaining in the first quarter.
  • After a Manhattan goal, the Bulldogs ran off five straight goals with two from O'Rourke to lead 7-1 through one quarter. Kent, junior Matt Heldberg (Kings Park, N.Y.) and Ziegler also scored during the stretch.
  • Bryant outscored Manhattan 3-1 in the second quarter with Kent, Heldberg and Buonaiuto tallying goals. The Bulldogs led 10-2 at the half.
  • Goals from senior Tommy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.) and Buonaiuto pushed the lead to 10 to begin the second half before Manhattan answered with a pair of goals to cut it to 12-4 with 8:29 to go in the third quarter.
  • Goals from O'Rourke and senior Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.) closed out the quarter and gave the Bulldogs a 14-5 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
  • Bryant pushed the lead back to 10 on Ziegler's third goal of the game. The Jaspers would score the final two goals of the game for the final 15-7 margin.

STATS

  • O'Rourke tallied three goals and two assists in his collegiate debut while adding three ground balls.
  • Ziegler scored three goals and added an assist.
  • Buonaiuto scored two goals while recording one assist and a ground ball.
  • Kent and Heldberg had two goals each with Kent adding a ground ball.
  • Massa was 19-of-24 on face-offs with 16 ground balls while adding a goal. The 16 ground balls tied a career-high.
  • Senior James Werner (New Rochelle, N.Y.) made eight saves and allowed five goals before giving way to junior Kevin Beimfohr (Mountain Lakes, N.J.), who closed out the game for the Bulldogs.
  • Sophomore Zach Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) tallied two caused turnovers, while sophomores Jack Callahan (Victor, N.Y.) and Joe Peroni (Lakeville, Mass.) recorded two ground balls each.
  • Bryant outshot Manhattan, 48-21.
  • The Bulldogs recorded 31 ground balls, as opposed to 15 for the Jaspers.

GAME NOTES

  • Bryant improves to 3-0 against Manhattan in the Division I era.
  • The Bulldogs move to 4-6 in home openers and have won each of their last three.
  • Bryant has won five straight games against MAAC members dating back to 2016.
  • Massa's career-high 16 ground balls matched his total of 16 against Siena (3/13/17).

UP NEXT

Bryant is back in action Saturday, Feb. 10, when the Bulldogs host Bucknell at 1 p.m.