Another NEC semifinal, another lopsided game. This time at a rainy Boswell Field, Bryant jumped right away to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter to prevail over Robert Morris, 12-3.
Tom Forsberg got things going for the Bulldogs for his first of three goals in the afternoon, before Tom Kennedy, Tucker James, and Forsberg’s second made it a 4-0 lead. Robert Morris got a goal with a second remaining in the opening quarter thanks to Tyson Gibson’s first of two goals. But the Bulldog defense shut down the Colonial offense for 35:29 of game time, as Robert Morris’s second goal would come at the 9:42 mark from Shane Majewski.
“It was a complete game,” Bryant head coach Mike Pressler said. “We cleared it, won face-offs, we played our tempo on offense, we took away their transition game, and James Werner was great in the goal.
“You never think you would beat a team like that again twice on the big stage. Did we think it would be a much closer game, absolutely. We were very fortunate that it wasn’t, but we didn’t have much to do with that. But at the end of the day, for us to come back and beat the same team twice, a team that’s a heck of a team offensively in particular, and to do it on this stage is a huge win for our guys.”
James had a hat-trick and an assist for a game-high four points, while Werner stopped 12 shots. FOGO Kenny Massa dominated at the face-off X, going 14-of-17 against Trey Arnold and Jack Toomb. For James, he didn’t see anything new from the Colonial defense for the most part.
“I kind of think they played very similar defense which helped us,” James said. “We watched a ton of film to capitalize on some of their flaws and we did a great job on that today.”
Pressler also mentioned he won’t be looking back on the 13-6 loss to Hobart in the regular season, saying the regular season is now meaningless in the postseason.
“Whoever plays better, whoever can impose their will on the other, has a great chance to come out on top.”
For Robert Morris, Alex Heger had 15 saves in net. Majewski, Gibson, and Carter Yepsen had a team-high four shots for the Colonials, who came in 11.40 goals per game. Bryant’s defense gives up about 8.53 goals a game, a number that certainly will go down.
The Bulldogs have lost the past two meetings to the Statesmen, dating back to a 15-2 regular season meeting last season. The Bulldogs lost to Hobart, 13-6, in Geneva 19 days ago, and James wishes Bryant’s recent struggles comes to a close on Saturday.
“We came up here and got our butts kicked, that’s for sure. We didn’t really follow the game plan, we didn’t shoot the ball well. I’m hoping that come Saturday, we’re a different team on offense, we’ll get the ball rolling.”
Robert Morris vs. Bryant Final Team Stats