Bryant’s Improbable Run Ends in First Round of NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament
The Bryant University men’s lacrosse team took a 10-9 lead into the fourth quarter but the No. 4 seed University of Virginia outscored the Bulldogs 4-1 in the fourth quarter to earn a 13-11 victory in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships on Sunday afternoon.
With the loss, the Bulldogs see their season come to a close with a record of 9-4. Bryant was making its fifth NCAA appearance after claiming its sixth Northeast Conference title last weekend.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs got the better of the Cavaliers for 45 minutes, building a 10-8 lead with four straight goals in the third quarter. Virginia, the defending national champions, scored with 1:24 left in the third quarter to make it a one-goal game and then scored four straight to open the fourth.
Logan McGovern led the Bulldogs with four points (3g, 1a), while Marc O’Rourke (1g, 1a), Kevin Groeninger (1g, 1a) and Trevor Weingarten (2g) each had multi-point games. Jacob Alexander won 16-of-27 faceoffs and finished with seven ground balls.
No. 4 Virginia 13, Bryant 11
Records: Bryant (9-4), Virginia (11-4)
Location: Klockner Stadium (Charlottesville, Va.)
Coach Pressler’s Comments
“I thought the team in black had the better of play for the first three quarters and UVA rose to the occasion and made the plays in the fourth. Congrtat to Virginia the reigning national champs, on getting an opportunity to move on. In the end, now that the season is over, its time to reflect on our entire body of work, not just one game or one quarter. I look back on all we overcame – all the heartache, disappointment, setbacks, pauses – and to be where we are now at the finish line, just makes this an incredible success on so many different levels for the Bryant men’s lacrosse team.”
Trailing by two in the third quarter, the Cavaliers scored five-straight goals to pull ahead for the lead.
How it Happened
Aidan Goltz answered an early Virginia goal with a rocket to tie the game, 1-1, with 11:44 to go in the first quarter.
The Cavaliers would score two goals in a 10 second span but the Black and Gold would answer. Sam Goforth scored a beautiful goal in transition, spinning around a defender before firing it over the goalies shoulder falling to the turf.
McGovern then tied the game with a missile from 15-yards out.
UVA would score the next three, however, taking a 6-3 lead with 8:22 to go in the first half.
The Black and Gold would respond, scoring three times in just over two minutes. McGovern rolled the crease and fired into a yawning cage for the first goal, Weingarten scored on the man-up and Groeninger made it 6-6 with a rip to the top corner.
Virginia would score less than a minute later to take a 7-6 lead to the half.
The Cavaliers would push the lead to 8-6 in the third before the Bulldogs rattled off four-straight to take a 10-8 lead.
Bennett Abladian cleaned up a rebound to make it 8-7 and Zach Coffey let go a cannon to tie the game at 8-8.
O’Rourke then buried a curling shot less than a minute later to give the Bulldogs their first lead.
McGovern completed his hat trick, scoring over the goalies shoulder from a tough angle with 5:41 left in the third.
The Cavaliers scored the next five, however, to take a 13-10 lead with 3:18 remaining in the game.
Weingarten bullied his way to the cage for his second of the day with 2:42 left but that would be it for the Black and Gold.
Bryant outshot Virginia, 47-38.
The Cavaliers won the ground-ball battle, 44-31.
Alexander won 16-of-27 faceoffs and collected seven ground balls.
McGovern finished with four points (3g, 1a).
O’Rourke had a team-high 13 shots and finished with a goal and an assist.
Groeninger notched a goal and an assist.
Weingarten finished with a pair of goals.
Goltz, Coffey, Goforth and Abladian all finished with a goal.
Jake Fiske had an assist and picked up five ground balls.
Bryant is now 3-5 in the NCAA Tournament at the Division I level.
Weingarten closed his career with five goals in his final two games, finishing with 95 career points
Alexander finished one faceoff shy of matching last week’s performance against Saint Joseph’s.
McGovern recorded his third hat trick of the year and finished the season with a team-high 46 points (20g, 26a).