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Drexel visits Bryant for Saturday contest

Photo by Gretchen McMahon Photography
Photo by Gretchen McMahon Photography

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The Bryant University men's lacrosse team closes out a three-game homestand Saturday when the Bulldogs host Drexel at the Bryant Track & Turf Complex.

A victory Saturday would be the 200th in Bryant's program history and the 100th as a Division I member. The Bulldog program started in 2000 and the Black and Gold began play in Division I in 2009. Bryant is 124-74 since head coach Mike Pressler arrived in Smithfield for the 2007 season.

THE PARTICULARS
Opponent: Drexel
Game Time: Saturday, March 10 – 1 p.m.
Tickets: BryantBulldogs.com
Watch Live: NEC Front Row
Live Stats: BryantBulldogs.com 

SCOUTING THE DRAGONS
Drexel is 1-3 on the year and picked up its first win of the year last Saturday with a 15-5 victory over Marist. The Dragons opened 2018 against three teams currently ranked in the top 10 in the USILA poll - No. 9 Virginia, No. 1 Albany and No. 4 Villanova. 

Matthew Varian leads the Dragons in most offensive categories on the year with eight goals and five assists for a team-high 13 points. Jake Kiernan ranks 11th nationally in caused turnovers per game with eight through four contests. Drexel has struggled at the face-off X, as the Dragons' .320 face-off percentage ranks 67th nationally among 69 teams.

Drexel went 6-8 in 2017 and fell in the CAA semifinals to eventual NCAA semifinalist Towson. The Dragons return 30 letterwinners and six starters from that 2017 squad.

THE SERIES
Bryant and Drexel are meeting for the eighth-consecutive season with the Dragons having won the last three contests. Drexel took a 7-5 victory last season in Philadelphia despite a 12-for-16 showing on face-offs from Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.)

BRYANT vs. THE CAA
The Bulldogs have faced two current CAA members for a 3-8 record. Bryant is 2-5 against Drexel in an annual series that dates back to 2011 and 1-3 against Fairfield, having last faced the Stags in 2013. 

LAST TIME OUT: NO. 11 YALE 11, BRYANT 8
A strong start to the fourth quarter pushed No. 11 Yale past Bryant last Saturday in Smithfield. Junior Kevin Beimfohr (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) made a career-high 11 saves, while senior Cam Ziegler (Carlsbad, Calif.) and freshman Marc O'Rourke (Hingham, Mass.) scored two goals each. 

KENNEDY NAMED TO TEWAARATON, SENIOR CLASS AWARD WATCH LISTS
Senior Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.) was named to the watch lists for the Tewaaraton Award and Senior CLASS Award March 1. Kennedy is coming off a junior season in which he tallied 24 goals, 15 assists and 25 ground balls on his way to first-team All-NEC honors. Kennedy has nine goals and seven assists through six games in 2018. 

MASSA EXCELLENT FROM THE X
Graduate student Kenny Massa has recorded a .662 face-off percentage and 10.33 ground balls per game in 2018. The ground ball average is good for third nationally while the face-off percentage ranks sixth. 

CUP OF COFFEY
Sophomore Zach Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) recorded two caused turnovers in three of the Bulldogs' first six games of 2018 and scored his first two collegiate goals in the game against Bucknell (2/10). Coffey has two goals, 11 ground balls and seven caused turnovers in 2018. 

EMO'ROURKE
Freshman Marc O'Rourke is tied for 10th nationally with three man-up goals in 2018. The total is tied for the most nationally among freshmen, while his 11 total goals place him seventh among first-year players nationally. 

BULLDOGS AMONG NEW ENGLAND'S BEST
Bryant has won 99 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' .600 winning percentage over those 10 seasons ranks third in New England behind Yale (.676) and Brown (.622). 

NEXT UP: SIENA
Bryant plays its first game outside New England in 2018 with a Tuesday matinee at Siena. Opening face-off is slated for 3 p.m. 

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.