Bison top Bryant with a second half comeback

Holly Burns, Senior Writer

The Bison men’s lacrosse team traveled to Rhode Island to face Bryant University on Sunday. Despite being down three goals at the end of the first half, the Orange and Blue were able to rally in the second half and earn the victory.

Midfielder Harry Wellford ’23 led the Bison in scoring, tallying four goals on the day. Wellford’s four-goal effort against the Bulldogs tops his hat trick in the Orange and Blue’s season opener versus Furman.

Fellow midfielder Matthew Barkauskas ’22 also made significant contributions to the Bison victory. Barkauskas scored the Orange and Blue’s first goal of the game with only 42 seconds remaining in the first quarter and finished with two goals.

Attacker Tommy Sopko ’21 scored two goals, as well, both in the fourth quarter. Sopko took a total of 15 shots, which matches the school record previously set by Chris Cara ’05 and Sean O’Brien ’18.

The Bison were down 6-3 ending the first half, but they came out strong in the second half. Wellford scored two goals in under a minute to cut Bryant to a one-goal lead.

The Bulldogs were able to score one more goal to boost their lead, but the Bison piled on with four more goals, making the score 9-7. During that run, Wellford and Sopko each scored two goals apiece.

Attacker Alston Tarry ’22 scored a big goal to extend the Bison’s lead to 10-8 with less than five minutes remaining in the game. Tarry’s goal was assisted by midfielder Nick Clarke ’21. The Bulldogs then answered, cutting the Bison lead to one. However, Clarke netted an insurance goal, making the final score 11-9. Clarke also collected five ground balls on the day. The Bison outscored the Bulldogs 8-3 in the second half to secure the victory.

Face-off man Nick Crovatto ’22 logged eight ground balls and went 13-for-24 in faceoffs. Defender Conor Shears ’20 led the team in turnovers with two ground balls, making a strong contribution to the defensive effort.

Goaltender Ben Clark ’21 made 17 saves, leading the Bison defense. Clark set his previous career-high for saves at Bryant in 2018 with eight. The Bison led the game in shots 43-41, ground balls 34-26, and faceoffs 13-11. The win over Bryant is the Orange and Blue’s seventh all-time against the Bulldogs.

The win against Bryant makes the Bison 2-0 heading into their home opener. They will face Sacred Heart this Saturday at noon.

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