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Robert Morris lacrosse team paces the nation

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By William West
Friday, May 6, 2011

The Robert Morris men's lacrosse team has a distinct Canadian style -- and scores more goals per game than any other NCAA Division I team.

The Colonials (9-5, 3-2) enter the four-team Northeast Conference tournament this weekend at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Md., with the nation's top offense, averaging a goal per game more than any other Division I team. It's the second consecutive season Robert Morris has led the country in scoring and the first time a team has repeated that feat since Virginia in 1996 and '97.

"We just play more of a transition game where it's fast and goals are either going to come, or they're not going to come," said senior Trevor Moore, who has led the Colonials' assault.

No. 3-seed Robert Morris plays No. 2 Quinnipiac (6-6, 4-1) at 4 p.m. The finals are scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, though the winner is not guaranteed a spot in the 16-team NCAA tournament.

The Colonials scored 27 goals -- a team record and the most in Division I this season -- against Sacred Heart on Saturday in a blowout win. The performance pushed Robert Morris' average to 14 goals per game. Still, that's down from the Colonials' Division I-best 15.33 goals per game last season.

"(Playing fast) is our style, so it's like, 'Why wouldn't it be that way?' " coach Bear Davis said. "That's the standard."

"We're not necessarily reinventing the wheel," offensive coordinator Andrew McMinn said. "It's more just the style of play we have, pushing transition first and foremost, trying to create unsettled situations. We kind of pride ourselves on an organized-chaos mentality."

Moore is the man with the scoring touch.

The attackman from British Columbia is fifth in NCAA Division I in points per game (4.21) and averages a Division I-best 3.43 goals per contest.

With 59 points (48 goals, 11 assists), he is two points shy of breaking the Robert Morris single-season record that he set a year ago with 35 goals and 25 assists.

"I always felt that, given the opportunities, I could do things like that," said Moore, the team's all-time points leader. "I don't think that anything I've done this year is better than what I've done in the past."

Moore's playing style is distinctly Canadian.

A lefty, he passes and shoots strictly with his strong hand. Rather than switch to his right hand, he prefers to throw the ball behind his back. He finds even the smallest shooting angles agreeable. And operating among a crowd of defenders doesn't bother him.

Of the team's top-eight point leaders, seven call Canada home. Eleven players in all hail from Canada, where many people play indoor or "box" lacrosse -- a more physical version -- on iceless hockey rinks.

But Davis described his team's tendencies slightly different.

"It's not just Canadian style," he said. "We like to say it's our Robert Morris style."

Additional Information:

Getting offensive

Robert Morris ranks in the top three nationwide in several offensive categories. Here is how they rank:

Goals per game: 14; 1st in nation*

Assists per game: 7.57; 1st in nation*

Shot percentage: 34.4; 2nd in nation

* Also led Division I in 2010



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