March 17, 2012

Bellarmine Beats Michigan in the Big House

from press release

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Bellarmine University lacrosse team absorbed a quick 3-0 start by the host Michigan Wolverines and rebounded for a 13-9 victory this afternoon at Michigan Stadium, or "The Big House," as it is commonly called.

The game marked the first ever meeting between the two schools which both compete in the ECAC Lacrosse league. However, because Michigan is in its provisional year with the ECAC, the game will not factor in to the conference standings.

After the Wolverines scored three goals in the game's opening 4:03, the Knights reeled off five unanswered goals, taking the lead 4-3 on a Michael Ward goal at the 13:16 mark of the second quarter. Just 12 seconds later, Lance Robinson scored his second goal of the day to put the Knights up 5-3.

"We came out really slow," said Bellarmine Coach Kevin Burns, "which was funny, because we were so fired up before the game. Maybe we were too fired up to execute," the 1st-year coach said.

"But, we battled back," Burns said. "No one panicked. We just stuck with our game plan and started to execute."

The Knights took a 6-5 lead into halftime before coming back to play what Burns said was "the best third quarter in terms of execution that we played all year."

The first goal of the second half was perhaps as rare a goal as fans will see all year. As Bellarmine prepared to clear the ball, Bellarmine goalie Dillon Ward noticed that Michigan had left its goal untended, and the junior launched a shot from about 10 yards in front of his own crease that sailed directly into the goal on the fly. It not only marked the goalie's first collegiate goal, it also was his first shot.

"We knew (Michigan) pulled its goalie to attack 10," said Burns, "and we were ready for it."

After Dillon Ward's goal, Bellarmine face-off specialist Andrew Bulgarelli won the ensuing face-off, scooped up the ground ball and raced to the offensive end and rifled a shot past Michigan goalie Emil Weiss for an 8-5 Bellarmine advantage.

The Knights eventually extended their lead to as many as five on two different occasions before Trevor Yealy closed the game's scoring with a Michigan goal with 53 seconds remaining to make the final margin four.

Lance Robinson recorded a hat trick with three goals, and Austin Bright added a pair of goals and three assists to in leading the Knight's offense. Michigan was led by Yealy with two goals and an assist.

Bulgarelli also was a bright spot for the Knights winning 15 of 23 face-offs for the visitors. Dillon Ward also solid for BU, collecting 10 saves on the day to pick up the win.

The win ups the Bellarmine overall record to 3-2 while the Wolverines slip to 1-7 in their first year as Division I program.

Bellarmine has now won two straight, which Coach Burns said is providing a little momentum for the Knights as they head into next week's game at Ohio State.

"I think we have a little momentum," Burns said. "The guys have seen the fruits of their labor and can see what we're capable of when we execute as a team and don't digress into doing everything as individuals."

The Knights and Buckeyes will face-off on Saturday night in a 7 p.m. contest in Jesse Owens Stadium.


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