Bobcats Edged by Robert Morris in Regular-Season Finale, 9-7
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team was defeated at Robert Morris by a final score of 9-7 on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats wrapped up their 2013 regular season already having punched their ticket to the 2013 NEC Tournament. Quinnipiac, who will serve as the No. 3 seed, begins its quest for an NCAA Tournament bid on Thursday, May 2 against No. 3 Robert Morris at Bryant University – who clinched the regular season title and the top seed with a win over Sacred Heart.
With a win and a Bryant loss, the Bobcats would have shared the NEC regular season title and hosted the single-elimination playoff. However, with the loss and the league's tie-breaker regulations, Quinnipiac falls to the No. 3 seed which sets up a rematch of today's contest with the Colonials. The other semifinal matchup features the fourth-seeded Pioneers against the Bulldogs.
Quinnipiac, now 6-7 overall and 3-2 in the NEC, saw seven different names in the scoring column against the Colonials. Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.), Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.), Basil Kostaras (Southlake, Texas) and Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.) each finished with a goal and an assist, while Pat Corcoran (Stratford, Conn.), Nate Nibbelink (Hampstead, N.Y.) and Jake Emms (Victoria, B.C.) each found the back of the cage once. Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario) and Billy Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) were each credited with an assist with Webster going 10-of-18 on the faceoff.
It was all Quinnipiac early on in the contest, as the Bobcats jumped out to a 6-1 lead through the first quarter and into the second. Sagl scored the game's first goal off a beautiful 40-yard pass from Wilbur, and Emms made it 2-0 after burying a feed from Sagl less than two minutes later. RMU got one back off the stick of Tyler Digby, but QU rattled off four straight to open a five-goal lead. Nibbelink, Kostaras, Diehl and Corcoran each hit the nylon once during the stint.
However, Robert Morris put itself right back into the game with four straight goals before the halftime whistle; and then tacked on three more, including the go-ahead goal, in the third quarter. Quinnipiac put a stop to the RMU run with the game's next goal (Wilbur) to cut the deficit to one, but the Colonials sealed the deal with their final goal in the waning minutes.
Reigning NEC Defensive Player of the Week, Gill Conners (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), was tremendous again for the Bobcats with 15 saves on the day. It marked his third conference game with at least 15 saves and moved into third place on QU's all-time 'saves in a single-season' list. His counterpart, Charles Ruppert, stopped seven shots for RMU.
After the first quarter, time of possession was a key factor in the outcome. QU dominated the first quarter but turnovers plagued the Bobcats throughout the rest of the game, granting the Colonials more offensive sets. Quinnipiac committed eight more turnovers, 15-7, allowing RMU to rifle off 43 shots on the afternoon. The Bobcats controlled a slight edge on the faceoff, 10-8, and each team scooped up 32 groundballs.
Luk Laszkiewicz led the Colonials' attack with a hat trick on six shots. Dave Morton added two goals and two assists and Digby dished out an assist to go with two goals.
The Bobcats and the Colonials will meet against at Bulldog Stadium in Smithfield, R.I. Faceoff has yet to be determined. Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for the time of the game as well as the latest news, scores and highlights of the program. The 2013 Quinnipiac Men's Lacrosse Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.