Bryant to host first NEC game of 2018 Friday

Photo by: Peggy Clark Photography
Photo by: Peggy Clark Photography
SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- After scoring 42 goals in their last two games, including a Division I record 22 on Friday night at Central Connecticut, the Bryant University women's lacrosse team brings their fiery offense to Smithfield to take on Sacred Heart in their conference home opener on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.
 
Senior Catlin Brown (San Diego, Calif.) led the way for Bryant in their NEC opener, totaling a career-high eight points on five goals and three assists. Senior Emily Columbus (East Northport, N.Y.), junior Jess DeMeo (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) and sophomore Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.) all added hat tricks, while senior Daja Andrews (Lumberton, N.J.) recorded a second-half shutout in the cage.
 
GAME INFORMATION

Opponent: Sacred Heart

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Location: Bryant Track and Turf Complex

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THE SERIES
Bryant has won the last seven matchups with the Pioneers, including two matchups in the Northeast Conference semifinals each of the last two seasons. The Bulldogs are also undefeated (6-0) in games played against Sacred Heart at the Bryant Track and Turf Complex.
 
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Sacred Heart earned their first win of the season in a 16-10 victory over LIU Brooklyn on Friday afternoon, led by Alyssa Pearce's five goals. Hanna Wise chipped in four in the win. On the year, Wise leads the Pioneer offense with 20 goals. Pearce's 18 points place her second on the team leaderboard.
 
In the cage, senior Paige Hammick has started all 10 games for Sacred Heart, posting a 14.84 goals-against average and a .392 save percentage. 
 
BRYANT vs. THE NORTHEAST CONFERENCE
A three-time tournament champion in the league, Bryant has gone 33-5 in the Northeast Conference under Jill Batcheller. The Bulldogs have won their last 11 regular season conference matchups dating back to the 2016 season and have not lost more than one NEC matchup since 2013.
 
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU
Senior Catlin Brown (San Diego, Calif.) has come alive offensively for the Bulldogs, recording 13 points in the last two games for Bryant, including scoring nine goals. This comes after a career-high eight on Friday night in which she also matched her career mark in goals (5) and assist (3), both of which were set in 2016. This is the highest two-game point total she has had in her career, with the second-highest being her 10-point NEC Tournament performance in 2016.
 
YOU GET A GOAL, YOU GET A GOAL, EVERYBODY GETS A GOAL!
In the previous two games, a total of 23 players have scored goals for Bryant, totaling 42 for the offense. Within this, three different players scored their first goal of the season: freshman Emma Linquist (Windham, N.H.), and sophomores Maggie Pressler (Smithfield, R.I.) and Sloane Sweitzer (Old Lyme, Conn.). It was also Lindquist and Sweitzer's first goal of their careers. 
 
DRAW!
Since their March 17 bout with Niagara, Bryant has been dominant at the draw circle, averaging 16.2 draw controls per game. Juniors Lauren Britton (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) and Meredith James (Essex Fells, N.J.) have been leading the way, with James averaging 7.4 controls and Britton averaging 5.2 during that span. Entering the weekend, they sit second and third, respectively, in the NEC in draw controls per game. James also cracks the Top 25 nationally, recording 5.5 per game.
 
DEFENSE WINS... EVERYTHING
Bryant's defense has been a difference-maker for the Black and Gold in 2018, standing tall in wins. When holding teams to 10 or fewer goals, the Bulldogs are 6-1 on the season. In those six wins, Bryant has allowed an average of five goals per game.
 
HOME... AWAY FROM HOME?
During the 2018 season, the Bulldogs have performed better away from Smithfield than they have at home this season. The Black and Gold are averaging 2.83 more goals per game and 3.92 less goals-against per game throughout the year. Their shot percentage (.510) and shot on goal percentage (.747) are also higher outside of Rhode Island.
 
ON RECORD PACE
Bryant's offense is headed to the program history books if they keep up record pace, both on an individual and team level. They are on pace to break the Division I record in four different categories (points per game, goals per game, shots per game and shots on goal per game). Individually, sophomore Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.) and junior Jess DeMeo (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) are set to finish 1-2 in the Division I record books in both points per game and goals per game.
 
ROAD TOUGH
The Bulldogs are 38-14 away from Smithfield under the direction of Jill Batcheller, including a perfect 19-0 in Northeast Conference regular season games on the road. In the 2016 season, Bryant went a perfect 9-0 on the road. 
 
SAVES BY SANTERAMO
Senior Samantha Santeramo has recorded five double-digit save performances this season after making 11 against Delaware on March 25. She ranks 10th among active career goalkeepers, allowing 9.00 goals per game throughout her tenure as a Bulldog.
 
THE BATCHELLER FILE
Sixth-year head coach Jill Batcheller enters Friday afternoon with a 71-31 career record, including a 32-5 record in Northeast Conference games. She has not had a losing season in her tenure, and her teams have won at least 13 games in each of the last four seasons.