SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Logan McGovern registered five points, Nathan Laliberte won 12 faceoffs and Luke Caracciolo posted 16 saves to lift the Bryant University men's lacrosse team to a 9-8 victory over in-state rival Providence College on Saturday afternoon at Beirne Stadium.
McGovern assisted on a pair of fourth-quarter goals and Caracciolo and the Bulldog defense stymied the Friars. The Black and Gold surrendered just one goal in the final 15 minutes.
A third-year Bulldog, McGovern finished with five points (1g, 4a), while Kevin Groeninger (2g, 1a), Jake Buonaiuto (2g), Austin Kent (1g, 1a) and Trevor Weingarten (2a) all registered multi-point days. Brody Rule and LaJhon Jones combined to collect eight ground balls and force four turnovers.
Bryant 9, Providence 8
Records: Bryant (1-0), Providence (0-1)
Location: Beirne Stadium (Smithfield, R.I.)
Coach Pressler's Comments
"For us to persevere and get this career win with all this stuff around us that we have to deal with, mentally, they were nails tough today. Kudos to them. All the sacrifices these guys have made, and all the teams in college lacrosse. What they've given up just to get back on the field. To see them rejoice, brought me to my knees. I wanted it so badly for those kids today."
- Having clung to a slim margin for most of the game, Groeninger was able to make it a two-goal game with a snipe at the 7:00 mark of the fourth quarter. The goal held up as the game-winner.
How it Happened
- Bryant and PC spent nearly the entirety of the first half figuring each other out. The two teams didn't find the scoreboard until the final three minutes.
- PC opened the scoring, turning a Bryant turnover into a goal from the stick of Matt Grillo.
- Bryant won the ensuing faceoff and quickly tied the game as Buonaiuto buried a feed from Groeninger.
- The Black and Gold made it three-straight goals as McGovern and Zach Coffey scored within 30 seconds of each other to start the second quarter.
- The Friars then answered three of the next four goals to tie the game at 4-4 with 8:33 left in the half.
- Kent gave the Black and Gold the lead off a feed from McGovern just over a minute later. The Bulldogs would hold the lead into the half.
- Groeninger made it 6-4 just over 90 seconds in the second half off a feed from Kent.
- Bennett Abladian then tallied his first-career goal at the 9:28 mark to make it a two-goal game again, 7-5.
- The Friars then scored twice in the final minutes of the quarter to send the game to the fourth tied.
- Buonaiuto broke the tie with a goal at the 9:09 mark and Groeninger made it 9-7 moments after the Black and Gold killed off a PC man-up opportunity.
- The Friars made things interesting, scoring with 19 seconds left to make it 9-8. PC then picked up a Bryant turnover but a shot sailed wide as time expired.
- Bryant won the ground-ball and faceoff battle against PC. They posted a 35-31 advantage in ground balls and a 13-for-21 mark on the X.
- McGovern led the Black and Gold with a goal and four assists.
- Groeninger registered two goals and an assist.
- Buonaiuto posted two goals and scooped up three ground balls.
- Kent had a multi-point game, finishing with a goal and an assist.
- Weingarten posted a pair of assists.
- Rule picked up six ground balls.
- Jones finished with two ground balls and three caused turnovers.
- Caracciolo made 16 saves.
- Laliberte finished 12-of-17 in the X and picked up eight ground balls.
- Bryant is now 8-4 against Providence at the Division I level.
- McGovern has now posted 4+ points in each of his last four games dating back to last season.
- The four assists mark a career-high for McGovern.
- Rule posted a career-high six ground balls.
- Jones was making his collegiate debut on Saturday.
- Laliberte's 12 faceoff wins are the second-most by a Bulldog in his collegiate debut. Kenny Massa won 19 faceoffs in his debut against Manhattan in 2015.
- Abladian and Drouin each scored their first collegiate goals on Saturday.
Bryant travels to Stony Brook next Saturday to take on the Seawolves. Faceoff is set for 12:00 p.m.