SMITHFIELD, R.I. – A career day from redshirt-senior Jake Buonaiuto (Miller Place, N.Y.) led the attack, but a second-half comeback from Bucknell spoiled the Bryant University men's lacrosse team's season opener Sunday at Beirne Stadium in an 11-9 Bison victory over the Bulldogs.
Bucknell 11, Bryant 9
Records: Bryant (0-1), Bucknell (2-0)
Location: Beirne Stadium (Smithfield, R.I.)
COACH PRESSLER'S COMMENTS
"I could not be more pleased with our start today. Up 5-1 early and up three at the half against a very good Bucknell team. We shot 1-for-15 in the third quarter and their goalie had seven saves. Too many great chances on offense and we didn't take advantage after halftime. We were tied 7-7 going into the fourth quarter, and when the game was being decided, they made the plays down the stretch and we didn't. Congrats to the Bison. Moving forward we like our team a lot in 2020. It's a quick turnaround this week to face an outstanding, undefeated PC team on the road Saturday."
- Bryant jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held a 5-1 advantage midway through the second quarter.
- The Bison scored four straight goals to turn a 7-5 deficit into a 9-7 lead with 11 minutes to play
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Buonaiuto scored 30 seconds into the game, and after a goal from junior Marc O'Rourke (Hingham, Mass.), tallied another with 1:30 remaining in the opening quarter to lead 3-1. O'Rourke assisted on both of Buonaiuto's first-quarter goals.
- The Bison would get on the board in the final minute of the opening quarter and the Bulldogs would respond out of the break with goals from Weingarten and freshman Kevin Groeninger (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) to lead 5-1 with 8:25 to go until halftime.
- The Bison cut the Bulldog lead to two before Buonaiuto's third of the day put Bryant ahead 6-3 with 12 seconds remaining in the half.
- Bucknell outscored Bryant 4-1 in the third quarter, tying the game with 3:20 remaining in the period. Buonaiuto had the lone Bulldog goal in the quarter.
- Bucknell scored twice in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to build a 9-7 advantage, and despite goals from sophomore CJ Sweitzer (Hatfield, Pa.) and Weingarten that cut the deficit to one on a pair of occasions, the Bison would hold off the equalizer and get an insurance goal with 2:23 to play for the final 11-9 margin.
- Buonaiuto's four goals tied a career high and his five points on the afternoon were a career best.
- Weingarten posted his third consecutive multi-goal game dating back to last season and the 11th of his career.
- O'Rourke notched a goal, two assists and five ground balls.
- Junior Ryan Baker (Draper, Utah) collected two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
- Senior James Stoler (Penfield, N.Y.) took the majority of the face-offs for the Bulldogs, going 11-for-19 at the X.
- Groeninger, junior Austin Kent (Franklin, Mass.) and redshirt-freshman Logan McGovern (Darien, Conn.) added assists.
- Bucknell outshot Bryant, 43-41.
- The ground ball margin was 34-26 in favor of the Bison.
- Bucknell goalie Ben Clark made 17 saves in the contest.
- Bryant drops to 1-7 all-time against Bucknell.
- Groeninger and Sweitzer recorded their first career goals in their collegiate debuts. The duo was joined by freshman Matt Prochaska (Danville, Calif.) in making their first collegiate appearances Sunday.
Bryant plays the first of two Ocean State Cup games when the Bulldogs travel to Providence for a Saturday showdown with the Friars. Opening face-off is slated for 1 p.m.
Tickets for the 2020 season at Beirne Stadium are available HERE.