Bison stampede past men’s lacrosse team with second-quarter rout

Though Tills ’15 tallies four goals, Bruno still fails to slow down potent Bucknell attack

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, March 21, 2014

The men’s lacrosse team stalled in the second quarter of a midweek matchup against Bucknell, allowing the Bison to score seven goals to its one. Bruno fought valiantly in the second half but could not overcome the 10-2 halftime deficit, ultimately losing 13-8 Wednesday.

“We fell apart defensively,” said co-captain Sam Hurster ’14, referring to Bruno’s play in the second quarter. “Offensively, our possessions were too short. Things quickly spiraled out of control. It was tough, and it’s too bad ,because it wasn’t until too late that we started showing those signs of brilliance that I know we have.”

A quiet first quarter ended with Bucknell (4-4, 2-2 Patriot) holding a 3-1 lead over the Bears (3-3, 0-1 Ivy). Attackman Bailey Tills ’16 scored Bruno’s first goal of the afternoon off an assist from Hurster. Tills went on to net three more goals in the contest, giving him eight on the season. The junior comes off the bench but has netted the third-highest goal total on the squad.

“Bailey was a bright spot in that game,” Hurster said. “He played well, and he finished the ball when others couldn’t. One great thing about this team is the depth we have offensively, and Bailey is a great example of that. He’s absolutely talented enough to be starting, no question.”

While Tills had a fruitful game, Bruno’s defense struggled to contain the Bison offense. Bucknell exploded in the second quarter, posting six unanswered goals and adding a seventh one seconds before the halftime whistle. Bison attackman Todd Heritage scored two of his team-high four goals against the Bears’ stumbling second-quarter defense.

The playing time of goalie Jack Kelly ’16 was short lived, as he was pulled to start the second half in favor of backup Will Round ’14. Kelly managed to stop just two of the 12 shots on goal that he faced.

“The goalie is the last man standing, so it’s easy to blame him,” Hurster said. “But we understand that it’s a collective effort. By no means did Jack have a worse game than anyone else on the team. We don’t ever blame a single person for a bad result, especially our goalie.”

Round fared far better than Kelly, allowing just three goals and making four saves in his half hour in the cage. Bruno actually won the second half by three goals thanks to a stronger defensive performance, but the gap between the teams was too large for Bruno to overcome. Bucknell’s high-pressure defense did not seem to bother the Bears, as they committed just one more turnover than the Bison.

Tills notched a consolation goal with 50 seconds remaining in the game, as the Bison won 13-8.

After the Bears’ 3-1 start to the season, they have lost two straight games and will face No. 12 Princeton (4-2, 1-0) over spring break. The Tigers’ two losses this season came at the hands of No. 8 Johns Hopkins University (5-1) and No. 6 University of North Carolina (6-2), two of the best teams in the nation.

“Across the board, the Ivy League is very competitive this year, and Princeton is probably one of the favorites to win it,” Hurster said. “They’re a very good team. They require a good amount of preparation. Luckily, our coaches do a lot of scouting, so we’re usually pretty prepared for what they’re going to run.”

Before the Tigers come to town, Bruno will face Providence College (3-4, 0-1 Big East) and Marist College (2-4, 0-1 MAAC) Saturday and Tuesday, respectively.