Saint Joseph’s Rallies Late To Beat Bryant Men’s Lacrosse

Bryant University Press Release

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Ryan McGee let loose an extra-man shot that snuck into the Bulldog goal just milliseconds before the final horn sounded, completing a three-goal Saint Joseph’s comeback in the final 70 seconds that lifted the visitors to an 8-7 victory over the Bryant University men’s lacrosse team Sunday afternoon.

The game winner was the only goal of the day from McGee, who took a pass from Mike Lanham after the sophomore won just his fourth faceoff of the day with 6.5 seconds to go. McGee beat both his defender and junior netminder Gunnar Waldt (Freeland, Md.), who took the loss despite a solid nine-save effort.

After Bryant (2-7, 0-2 Northeast Conference) took a 7-5 lead off a Collins Gantz (Denver, Colo.) score with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, the Hawks (5-5, 1-0 Northeast Conference) kicked into high gear, pulling back within one thanks to a Pat Swanick goal, assisted by Mike Rastivo, with 1:10 showing on the clock.

After an illegal body check penalty sent Tucker James (Essex Fells, N.J.) to the sideline for the final minute of regulation and sent the Bulldogs man-down for the fourth time in the contest, the pair would reverse roles with the man advantage, as Swanick fed Rastivo to knot the game at 7-7 with 6.5 ticks left in the game.

And despite a stellar 14-for-18 effort from faceoff specialist Kevin Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) at the X, the senior couldn’t come up with the final restart of the tilt, setting up a heartbreaking ending for the Black and Gold at the Bryant Turf Complex.

Junior attack Shane Morrell (Glen Mills, Pa.) paced the Bulldog offense with two goals and two assists, while all six offensive starters found the back of the net throughout the contest. James added a goal and two assists, while rookie Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.) and Gantz each chipped in a goal and a helper.

All six of the Hawks’ offensive starters got on the board as well, but the visitors’ only multi-goal effort of the day would come from Mike Dougherty off the bench. Both sides saw numerous extra-man opportunities in the game, with Saint Joseph’s going 1-for-4 and Bryant converting just one of seven chances with the advantage.

After playing to a 4-4 draw through the opening two quarters, Dougherty broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the third to put the Hawks on top, 5-4. Morrell would take a pass from James and score his first of the day with 2:47 left in the third to re-knot the contest, 5-5, entering the final 15 minutes of play.

Morrell and James would connect again with 11:20 to go in the game to give the Black and Gold their first lead since late in the second quarter, and Gantz’s tally with 1:50 remaining – assisted by Morrell – would send the Bulldogs into the final 90 seconds with a two-goal, 7-5, edge to set up the remarkable final seconds.

Bryant outshot its visitors, 32-29, in the game, but were out-fired, 13-7, in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs nearly doubled their challengers in ground balls, 40-23, thanks to a game-high 10 from Massa, while James added five more on the afternoon. The hosts also saw six caused turnovers, including two from sophomore longpole Cody O’Donnell (Smithfield, R.I.). Saint Joseph’s netminder T.J. Jones turned away six in the contest to record the victory.

The Bulldogs return to action Saturday, April 4, when they travel to Staten Island, N.Y., for a 1:00 p.m. faceoff against NEC foe Wagner College.