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No. 20 Bulldogs rally past Merrimack on Saturday

David Silverman Photography
David Silverman Photography

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Luke Caracciolo made a point-blank save as time expired to preserve a 11-10 victory for the No. 20 Bryant University men's lacrosse team on Saturday against Merrimack. 

It capped a decisive fourth for the Black and Gold, as they trailed 9-8 before rattling off three-straight goals to pick up their fourth-straight win. Bryant extends its historic start to the season and is now 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the NEC.

Caracciolo finished 13 saves, while Isaiah Davis and Mason Drouin each netted hat tricks. Davis added an assist for a four-point game, while Kevin Groeninger assisted on a career-high four goals.  

GAME INFORMATION
No. 20 Bryant 11, Merrimack 10
Records: Bryant (5-1, 3-0 NEC) | Merrimack (2-4, 1-3 NEC)
Location: Duane Stadium (North Andover, Mass.)

Coach Pressler's Comments

"Three weeks ago i said to the team after we beat Merrimack that the return game at their place would be the toughest road game of the year. I was dead on. We were fortunate to make some plays at both ends of the field at the end to come out on top. Really proud of so many of our young guys on offense who played well when we needed them the most. Winning on the road in conference is a tremendous accomplishment. This game was a real tough out today. It took 60 full minutes this time to get it done. In the end, Merrimack gave us all we could and more, as expected."

Key Moment

  • With Bryant clinging to a one-goal lead, Caracciolo denied Jack Barron on the doorstep as time expired to preserve the win.    

How It Happened

  • Merrimack opened the scoring but Bennett Abladian and Davis scored two minutes apart to give Bryant a 2-1 lead. 
  • Zach Coffey would give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead just before the first quarter came to a close. 
  • Jacob Alexander then opened the second quarter with a faceoff win and raced down and potted it to make it 4-2. 
  • The Warriors would respond with the next three goals to make it 5-4 with 3:56 left in the half.
  • Drouin then rifled one home on the man-up before Davis cashed in on a beautiful feed from Kevin Groeninger with 28 seconds left.
  • Alexander helped Bryant open the second half quick, winning the opening faceoff and feeding Davis for a quick goal. He won the next faceoff, as well, leading to a goal from Jake Buonaiuto on a feed from Davis.
  • Merrimack had an answer though, scoring four straight. Tommy Rooney made it 9-8 with 5:28 left in the third quarter. 
  • Drouin didn't waste any time in the fourth quarter, tying the game with EMO goal just 15 seconds in.
  • Drouin was at it again eight minutes later, completing his hat trick to make it 10-9 with 6:16 left.
  • Abladian made it 11-9 with a goal at the 3:24 mark.
  • Merrimack made things interesting, scoring with 1:29 left. The Warriors then charged down the field but Barron was denied on the doorstep as the game clock expired. 

Stats

  • Bryant outshot Merrimack, 33-32.
  • The Warriors won the ground-ball battle, 30-28.
  • Drouin finished with three goals, including two on the man-up.
  • Davis recorded three goals and an assist.
  • Groeninger picked up four assists.
  • Abladian registered a pair of goals.
  • Alexander scored a goal and won 12-of-22 faceoffs. He had six ground balls.
  • Caracciolo finished with 13 saves.   

Games Notes

  • Bryant's 5-1 start continues its best start in DI program history. 
  • Bryant won both games against Merrimack this season. 
  • Davis has now recorded hat tricks in back-to-back games. 
  • Drouin notched his first-career hat trick.
  • Drouin now has six man-up goals, tying him for the national lead.

Up Next
The Bulldogs return home next Saturday to face rival Hobart. Faceoff is set for 12:00 p.m. at Beirne Stadium.