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Bryant clashes with Hartford Saturday on ESPN3

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Bryant University men's lacrosse team travels outside the Ocean State for the first time in 2018 when the Bulldogs square off with Hartford Saturday on ESPN3.

THE PARTICULARS
Opponent: Hartford
Game Time: Saturday, Feb. 24 – 2 p.m.
Watch Live: ESPN3
Live Stats: HartfordHawks.com

SCOUTING THE HAWKS
Hartford opened the year with a 14-12 loss at St. John's last Saturday. The Hawks led 8-7 in the second quarter before the Red Storm rattled off five straight goals and held on for the two-goal victory. 

Griffin Feiner recorded five goals and two assists in the season opener, while Dylan Protesto was 21-for-29 (.724) on face-offs. Protesto ranks fifth in the nation in face-off percentage, just behind the .727 mark of Bryant graduate student Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.).

The Hawks went 6-8 a year ago in Ryan Martin's first season at the helm in West Hartford.

THE SERIES
The Bulldogs and Hawks are meeting for the fifth-consecutive season with Hartford looking for its first victory in the series. Bryant has increased its offensive output in each of the four meetings. 

Bryant captured a 17-11 victory in Smithfield last season behind six goals from Tucker James. Kyle Cornell (Darien, Conn.) and Cam Ziegler (Carlsbad, Calif.) added three goals each, while James Werner (New Rochelle, N.Y.) made 12 saves.

BRYANT vs. THE AMERICA EAST
The Bulldogs have faced four America East members in their program history and hold an overall record of 10-5 against the conference. Bryant is 5-3 in road games at AE members including a win at No. 13 Albany in 2014. 

LAST TIME OUT: PROVIDENCE 13, BRYANT 8
The Bulldogs opened up a 5-2 first-quarter lead, but Providence responded with six straight goals to gain momentum in a 13-8 win over Bryant last Saturday in the state capital. Graduate student Kenny Massa was 18-of-23 on face-offs in the defeat. 

MASSA EXCELLENT FROM THE X
Graduate student Kenny Massa has been dominant on face-offs through the first three games on 2018. Massa's .727 face-off percentage ranks fourth nationally, while his 14.00 ground balls per game lead the country. 

BALANCING ACT
Nine different Bulldogs have recorded a multi-goal game in Bryant's first three contests of the year. The Black and Gold had five players with two or more goals against Manhattan (2/3) and Bucknell (2/10), with junior Matt Heldberg (Kings Park, N.Y.) and freshman Marc O'Rourke (Hingham, Mass.) accomplishing the feat in both games. 

CUP OF COFFEY
Sophomore Zach Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) recorded two caused turnovers in each of the Bulldogs' first two games of 2018 and scored his first two collegiate goals in the game against Bucknell (2/10). Coffey has two goals, six ground balls and four caused turnovers through three games. 

A(SSIST) FROM Z(IEGLER)
Senior Cam Ziegler ranks 19th nationally entering the week with 2.00 assists per game. Ziegler recorded a career-high five assists against Bucknell (2/10). 

BIG DEBUT FOR O'ROURKE
Freshman Marc O'Rourke had a five-point afternoon in the season-opening win over Manhattan (2/3). O'Rourke became the first Bryant freshman to score three goals in his debut in the Bulldogs' Division I era. The Massachusetts native added three ground balls. 

MASSA EARNS USILA HONOR
Graduate student Kenny Massa was named to the USILA Team of the Week for his performance in the season-opening victory over Manhattan (2/3). Massa went 19-of-24 (.792) from the X and tied his career-high with 16 ground balls while scoring his first goal of the year. 

Massa's .792 face-off percentage ranked third in the nation in the season's opening weekend.

BULLDOGS AMONG NEW ENGLAND'S BEST
Bryant has won 98 games since joining Division I in 2009 - the highest total of the 15 Division I lacrosse programs in the six New England  states. The Bulldogs' .605 winning percentage over those 10 seasons ranks third in New England behind Yale (.669) and Brown (.621). 

NEXT UP: BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Bryant will play its next three games at home beginning with a Tuesday night showdown with Boston University. The 7 p.m. start can be seen on NEC Front Row.

Bryant University Athletics has announced the Spring Sports Pass for the upcoming spring season. The Spring Sports Pass allows admission to all home men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and softball events for just $50. The Spring Sports Pass can be purchased by clicking HERE.

Follow Bryant University men's lacrosse on Twitter and Instagram to get an inside look at the program.