SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Despite a dominant performance at the face-off X from graduate student Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.), the Bryant University men's lacrosse team was outlasted by Drexel, 12-9, Saturday afternoon at the Bryant Track & Turf Complex.
Massa won 23 of 24 face-offs, with both the 23 total face-off wins and .958 face-off percentage tied for the third-best performance in the nation this season. Redshirt-sophomore Jake Buonaiuto (Miller Place, N.Y.) added a career-high four goals in the defeat.
Drexel 12, Bryant 9
Records: Bryant (2-5, 0-0 NEC), Drexel (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
Location: Bryant Track & Turf Complex (Smithfield, R.I.)
COACH PRESSLER'S COMMENTS
"It's been the same story for the last five games. It's a one-goal game in the fourth quarter, we tie it at eight and have the extra man, turn it over, try to ride it back and they score man-down. Then we had some chances at the end. Give Drexel credit; they made the plays when the game was being decided."
"Kenny Massa was remarkable. He not only got us possession; we made a run with the face-off offensively. That's been a great weapon for us. Right now, we have other issues at other spots that we have to fix quickly and get over this one to get ready for Siena on Tuesday."
- Bryant scored four straight goals to tie the game 8-8 with 13:38 remaining in the game, but a man-down goal from Drexel's Reid Bowering started a four-goal run for the Dragons to put the game away.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Drexel scored all four first-quarter goals, including two of the game-high five from Bowering.
- The Dragons were assessed a three-minute penalty for an illegal stick to open the second quarter, which the Bulldogs quickly capitalized on with Buonaiuto's first goal of the day with 14:28 to go in the second quarter.
- Bowering got the goal back for Drexel two minutes later while still man-down.
- Bryant scored the final three goals of the half in a span of 41 seconds. Buonaiuto's second of the day cut the deficit to 5-2 with 4:38 remaining before the half, and after controlling the ensuing face-off, sophomore Jake Fiske (Poway, Calif.) found senior Cam Ziegler (Carlsbad, Calif.) to make it 5-3. A goal from sophomore Zach Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) made it a 5-4 Drexel lead at the half.
- Drexel scored the first three goals of the second half before Bryant responded with the next four. The Bulldogs scored three goals in 67 seconds, beginning with one from freshman Austin Kent (Franklin, Mass.) with 1:33 to go in the third quarter. Ziegler and sophomore Trevor Weingarten (Allendale, N.J.) followed to make it 8-7 at the end of the third quarter.
- Buonaiuto got the equalizer with 13:38 to go off the second assist of the day from freshman Marc O'Rourke (Hingham, Mass.).
- Drexel answered with four straight goals – a run that began with Bowering's second man-down goal of the day – to take a 12-8 advantage.
- Buonaiuto added a goal with five seconds remaining for the final 12-9 margin.
- Buonaiuto scored a career-high four goals to go along with a ground ball and caused turnover.
- Massa was 23-of-24 (.958) on face-offs. The 23 face-off wins rank seventh in a single game in program history. The 23 face-off wins and .958 face-off percentage are both tied for third in a single game nationally this season. Massa also collected 12 ground balls.
- Ziegler had two goals for his fourth-straight multi-goal game and fifth on the season.
- O'Rourke recorded two assists and four ground balls.
- Fiske notched an assist, three ground balls and a caused turnover.
- Weingarten had a goal, an assist and two ground balls.
- Coffey added a goal and a caused turnover, while Kent scored the fourth goal of his freshman campaign.
- Bryant outshot Drexel, 37-32.
- The Bulldogs held a 38-16 advantage in ground balls.
- Bryant drops to 2-6 all-time against Drexel.
- The Bulldogs fall to 3-9 all-time against CAA members.
- Massa's .958 face-off percentage was the best by a Bulldog since Kevin Massa went 19-for-19 against Richmond in 2014.
- The 38 ground balls were a season-high.
Bryant travels to Siena for a Tuesday afternoon contest. The Bulldogs and Saints will square off at 3 p.m. in Loudonville, New York.
Bryant University Athletics has announced the Spring Sports Pass for the upcoming spring season. The Spring Sports Pass allows admission to all home men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and softball events for just $50. The Spring Sports Pass can be purchased by clicking HERE.