Division I Roundup April 20th

Kelly’s 21 Saves, Blynn’s Four Goals Lift #13 Brown Over #10 Cornell, 15-6

Providence, R.I. – The Ivy League title chase just got a bit more interesting. Brown junior goalie Jack Kelly (West Islip, NY) made a season high 21 saves and junior attackman Henry Blynn (Villanova, PA) netted four goals to lead #13 Brown to a 15-6 win over #10 Cornell at sun drenched Stevenson Field.

Brown improves to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in Ivy play with one league game remaining at Dartmouth next Saturday.  Cornell falls to 9-4 overall, 3-2 in Ivy play. Brown, Cornell and Yale are tied for second place in the Ivy standings, just a game behind first place Princeton (4-1).

“While I certainly believe that our entire team stepped up today and played their best lacrosse, I don’t want to overshadow the heroic play of Jack Kelly, who denied Cornell time-after-time and stifled their fast breaks,” said Brown head coach Lars Tiffany.

Kelly was undoubtedly the story of the game with 14 of his season high 21 saves coming in the first half as Brown held a 6-4 advantage at intermission.

Big Red attackman Connor Buczek scored the opening goal of the season half to cut Brown’s lead to 6-5 with 12:18 remaining.

Brown scored six of the next seven goals in the third quarter, with junior Kylor Bellistri (Potomac, MD), sophomore Alec Tulett (Toronto, Ontario), Blynn, sophomore Dylan Molloy (Setauket, NY), senior Nick Piroli (Black River, NY) and senior Bailey Tills (Denver, CO) all scoring to grab a 12-6 lead.  Kelly and the Brown defense kept Cornell off the scoreboard in the final quarter to finish up with a 15-6 win.

“I’m proud of our poise in the fourth quarter, said Tiffany. “While we like to run-and-gun, we played some smart lacrosse with the lead.”

Cornell made a conscious effort to keep Molloy off the scoreboard, double and triple-teaming the high scoring attackman, the nation’s leading scorer, who now has 52 goals on the season. While Molloy was held scoreless in the opening 30 minutes, he finished with two goals and a career high five assists against the Big Red.

Blynn, who had six goals against Providence earlier in the week, netted four goals on seven shots. Piroli finished with two goals and an assist, while Tills added two goals.

Brown also won the battle of the face-off x, with junior Will Gural (Haverford, PA) winning 13-of-24 face-offs against Cornell’s Domenick Massimilian, one of the nation’s leaders in face-off winning percentage.

“The play of our face-off wings – Kemp, Jake Miller (Hartland, WI) and Tulett – was incredibly impactful for us to go on a run and maintain pressure.”

Buczek paced the Big Red with three goals, while Matt Donovan registered two goals. Cornell goalie Christian Knight had 10 saves in the Big Red net.

While Cornell out-shot the Bears by a 45-21 margin, Brown won the battle of the trenches, holding a 40-33 advantage in ground balls.

Donovan gave Cornell an early 1-0 lead, but Brown answered with goals by Blynn, sophomore AJ Lucchese (Sudbury, MA), Blynn again, and Kemp to pull ahead by a 4-1 margin after one quarter.

Goals by Cornell’s Cook and Buczyk cut Brown’s lead to 4-3, but junior Brendan Caputo (Westbury, NY) scored with 11:17 left in the quarter to put Brown back up by two goals, 5-3. Donovan scored his second goal of the game to pull Cornell to within a goal, 5-4, at the 9:21 mark of the quarter.

Blynn scored with just two seconds remaining in the half to give the Bears a 6-4 lead at the half and turn the momentum all in their favor.

Brown will travel to Bryant on Tuesday, April 21 in an Ocean State Cup match-up.  Face-off is 7 pm at the Bryant Turf Complex in Smithfield, R.I.


Sperry Sends Stags to 12-11 Double Overtime Win over Delaware

Senior nets game-winner as part of a four-point day

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Tristan Sperry turned and fired the game-winning goal one minute into the second overtime period as the Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team outlasted visiting Delaware, 12-11, on Saturday afternoon at Rafferty Stadium. Sperry and Drew Federico each tallied four points for the Stags in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) win.

Sperry and Federico each scored two goals and handed out two assists for Fairfield (8-5, 3-1 CAA). The Stags also got a pair of markers from TJ Neubauer and Joe Rodrigues, who picked up an assist for a career-best three points on the day. Colin McLinden, Dave Fleming, Nick Guida and Jake Knostman also scored goals for Fairfield.

Neubauer also collected six ground balls, and Sperry picked up four as Fairfield battled to a 40-24 advantage in that category.

The Stags were dominant at the faceoff ‘X’, led by a 16-for-24 showing from Will Fox. The three-time CAA Rookie of the Week also hauled in 10 ground balls off of draws. Joe DeLasho added a 3-for-3 day in the circle to round out Fairfield’s 19-for-27 (.704) win percentage.

Tyler Behring made 10 saves between the posts with two ground balls. Also on the defensive end, Matt Borda picked up three ground balls and Tom Lukacovic recorded a pair of caused turnovers.

The Delaware (4-10, 0-4 CAA) offense was run through Beau Jones, who scored a goal to go along with five assists. Brett Anton made 16 saves for the Blue Hens.

The squads traded the first six goals of the day before McLinden’s tally in the closing seconds of the first quarter staked the Stags to a 4-3 lead after 15 minutes of action. The marker was also the start of a four-spurt with Federico, Neubauer and Rodrigues (man-up) all finding the back of the net to extend the Fairfield advantage to 7-3 with 10 minutes to play in the opening half. Though Delaware would net a pair before the intermission, the Stags maintained a 7-5 lead heading into the locker room.

Knostman and Sperry started the scoring in the third quarter, rebuilding the four-point cushion at 9-5. After a Blue Hens’ goal, Guida and Federico each struck as Fairfield carried an 11-6 lead into the fourth quarter.

Delaware, however, closed the gap with five goals in a span of 8:23 to knot the contest at 11-11 with 5:55 to play in regulation. Behring made two saves with the clock winding down to preserve the deadlock and send Fairfield to its second overtime contest of the season.

Behring made another save on the first possession of the extra session and, after a turnover each way, Anton responded with a stop for Delaware. Fairfield would retain possession and manage two more shots, but neither one was on target as the clock expired.

Fox came up with his career-high 16th win at the faceoff ‘X’ and 10th ground ball to start the second overtime, and the Stags capitalized as Sperry netted the unassisted game-winner to give Fairfield a pivotal CAA victory by a final score of 12-11.

The win comes in the Stags’ seventh one-goal game of the spring. It was also Fairfield’s first double-overtime contest since a 9-8 win over Bryant in the 2012 campaign.

Fairfield concludes the regular season on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium on Friday, April 24 with a visit from CAA preseason favorite Hofstra (5-8, 2-2 CAA). Faceoff under the lights in Fairfield, Connecticut is slated for 7 p.m.

The Stags will enter the final weekend of CAA action still in contention for at least a share of the regular-season title and still in the hunt for the top seed in upcoming CAA Championship (April 30-May 2).


UVM Men’s Lacrosse Collects Crucial 14-11 Victory over Hartford on Senior Day

FINAL SCORE: Vermont 14, Hartford 11
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Sophomore Ian MacKay and junior James Barlow combined for nine points to power Vermont to a 14-11 victory over Hartford on Senior Day in Burlington on Saturday.

The Catamounts improved to 5-9 overall and 3-2 in America East, and moved into third place in the conference standings in the process. With a victory in the regular season finale next Saturday at Binghamton, or a loss by Hartford in its final game, Vermont would clinch a spot in the America East playoffs.

Prior to the contest, UVM honored Calder Billings, Andrew Buckanavage, Dan DiStefano and Dyson White with a ceremony as part of Senior Day. The four seniors have combined to play in 130 games during their careers at Vermont.

Eight different Catamounts tallied at least one goal in the contest, led by MacKay and Barlow, who registered three apiece. White and Michael Clarke added two goals each, and four other players chipped in with a goal to round out the balanced the attack.

Kevin O’Shea was Hartford’s leading scorer with five points on three goals and a pair of assists, while Jaedon Henderson and Griffin Feiner picked up two goals each.

Vermont junior Justin Rosenberg made 11 saves to register his second consecutive win in net for the Catamounts. His counterpart, Ryan Vanderford stopped 10 shots in the losing effort for Hartford.

Hartford (7-6, 3-2 AE) jumped out to a 3-1 advantage in the opening period before Vermont took over in the second, outscoring the Hawks 7-3 in the quarter. The Catamounts received goals from seven different players as they took an 8-6 advantage into the break.

MacKay netted his third goal of the contest early in the third period to widen UVM’s lead to three scores, but O’Shea responded for the Hawks minutes later with his third tally of the game as well.

After trading goals in the ensuing four-plus minutes, White registered the final goal of the stanza with 2:40 remaining off a feed from Matt Gudas to extend the Catamounts’ lead to 11-8 with one period to play.

Vermont scored the first two goals of the final quarter to open its biggest lead of the contest, 13-8. Alec Brown and Henderson answered for the Hawks with back-to-back goals near the two-minute mark, and brought Hartford within three scores, 13-10.

Barlow sealed the Vermont win with an insurance tally with just 46 second remaining for his third goal of the tilt. Brendan Gates added a goal in the final seconds, but Vermont went on for the 14-11 victory

The Catamounts close out the regular season with a tilt at Binghamton on Saturday (April 25) at 1 p.m.


UMass Men’s Lax Overtakes Drexel, 12-9 In Return To Garber Field
Balance up front keys the Minutemen to victory in Cannella’s 300th game as UMass’ head coach

AMHERST, Mass. – Balance on attack and 14 saves by goalie Zach Oliveri keyed UMass men’s lacrosse to its 12-9 win over Drexel at Garber Field Saturday afternoon. The game marked head coach Greg Cannella’s 300th leading the program while the victory, spearheaded by three goals each from Brendan Hegarty and Dan Muller, gave Cannella his 182nd win with the Minutemen.

Grant Whiteway had a pair of goals on attack in his return to the starting lineup while Gianni Bianchin, Ryan Izzo, Nick Mariano and Brendan Schroeder provided one apiece.

“We had two defensive midfielders score, Ryan [Izzo] and Brendan [Schroeder], which is impressive and helps the team,” Cannella said. “We had some good contributions. [Jake] Lisauskas has a couple assists and [Brendan] Hegarty scored timely goals. They put short-stick defensive midfielders on our attackman so we moved Gianni [Bianchin] down there because he is an excellent dodger. He held his own there. Any time you can score 12 against Drexel – they have played great defense, they are an excellent defensive team and are well coached – you have to be happy.”

Bianchin also had a pair of assists for a three-point game while Jake Lisauskas helped out on two conversions for his first collegiate points. Mariano added one dish while Andrew Sokol, Austin Spencer and Dom St. Laurent each facilitated a UMass goal.

Dylan Gruder earned UMass two of its five caused turnovers while Spencer finished the day with a team-high five groundballs. Close defenseman Kyle Karaska provided three groundballs, as did Izzo and Charlie Schatz.

Ryan Belka notched four goals and an assist for the Dragons (6-7 overall, 2-2 CAA) while Robert Frazee scored three times.

A five-goal run by the Minutemen proved paramount in the victory after the Dragons fought back to tie the contest at 7-7 with seven minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Muller started the streak with back-to-back tallies, the final of which gave the redshirt-sophomore three goals on the day.

“Dan [Muller] has most likely been our most consistent guy all year,” Cannella said after the win. “He made some good plays for us. He is hurting a little bit so I am proud of him. He is a warrior.”

Whiteway followed Muller and made it three consecutive for UMass as he put a sidearm shot over the top of Drexel goalie Jimmy Joe Granito’s stick with four seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Hegarty pushed the lead to 11-7 with 9:44 to go in the fourth, earning his hat trick in the process. Bianchin ended the stretch with a transition goal at the 6:56 mark on a feed from Spencer, a long-stick midfielder who scooped up a loose ball to create the chance.

Belka and Frazee brought the Dragons back within 12-9 with 3:24 remaining, but the UMass close defense clamped down on Drexel and Oliveri stopped their lone on-target attempt during the remainder of competition.

The momentum swung between the teams into the third quarter as the sides combined for six multi-goal runs of two or more tallies prior to UMass’ five consecutive conversions.

The Minutemen (4-8, 2-2) raced out to a 2-0 lead as Izzo and Hegarty found the back of the net early.

After Schatz won the opening faceoff, Izzo scooped up the loose ball, rolled to his right and went unmarked toward the cage, where he bested Granito only 12 seconds into the game for Izzo’s fourth goal of the year.

Hegarty doubled the lead at the 12:57 mark, but the Dragons answered with two from Belka to knot the game at 2-2.

However, Muller and Whiteway went back-to-back in the scoring column on passes from Bianchin and Lisauskas, respectively, to send Massachusetts into the first quarter break ahead, 4-2.

Schroeder made it 5-2 UMass when the short stick defensive midfielder fielded a pass from Hunziker and fired past Granito with 14:32 remaining in the second. The Dragons kept play close with two more scores for the visitors as Mason Pynn assisted Frazee and Cole Shafe in knocking the deficit down to 5-4 with 13:04 to go in the third.

Mariano answered for the Minutemen exactly one minute later with his 20th goal of the year before Hegarty found space in front for his second of the day.

After Hegarty’s tally pushed the lead to 7-4 at the 9:44 mark of the fourth, the Dragons needed only 10 seconds to respond. Nick Saputo won the ensuing faceoff and found Markell Nelson open on the left side, which started a three-goal stretch for the Dragons. Frazee scored man-up at the eight-minute mark before Belka evened play at 7-7 only 40 seconds later.

Drexel outshot UMass, 36-33 and won the groundball war, 29-21 while each side turned the ball over 12 times. Oliveri registered the win with his 14-save performance, one shy of tying his single-game personal best for stops in a contest. Granito took the loss with 10 saves on the day.

The game marked UMass’ return to Garber Field after the squad played its first five home games of 2015 at McGuirk Stadium. Recently repaired winter weather-related damage to the playing surface on Garber Field necessitated the temporary relocation.

The Minutemen close out the regular season with a Friday, April 24 game at Garber Field against Delaware (4-10, 0-4). The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.