Bryant opens NEC play Saturday at home against Mount St. Mary's

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University men's lacrosse team closes out a four-game homestand Saturday when the Bulldogs host Mount St. Mary's at the Bryant Track & Turf Complex in both teams' NEC opener. Bryant returns to action after Tuesday's game at Siena was postponed due to a snowstorm.

THE PARTICULARS
Opponent: Mount St. Mary's
Game Time: Saturday, March 17 – 1 p.m.
Tickets: BryantBulldogs.com
Watch Live: NEC Front Row
Live Stats: BryantBulldogs.com

SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
Mount St. Mary's is 3-4 on the year, as the Mountaineers are 2-0 to start March with home wins over VMI and Mercer. The Mount is 3-0 at home, adding a win over UMBC, while the Mountaineers are 0-4 away from Emmitsburg. 

Stephano Mastro has scored a team-high 16 goals on the year, while Brenden McCarthy has added 15 goals and team-bests in assists (15) and points (29). The Mount ranks in the top 20 in the nation in goals, assists, points and ground balls per game.

THE SERIES
Bryant and Mount St. Mary's are meeting for the 11th time in the Bulldogs' 10-year Division I history with the Black and Gold holding a 7-3 advantage. The two teams have met twice in the NEC tournament, as Bryant fell to The Mount in the 2011 semifinals before the Bulldogs captured their first NEC crown in 2012 with a win over the Mountaineers in the title game at Robert Morris. 

Mount St. Mary's won last year's contest 6-5 in Emmitsburg. Cam Ziegler (Carlsbad, Calif.) scored two goals in the defeat, while James Werner (New Rochelle, N.Y.) tallied 11 saves.

LAST TIME OUT: DREXEL 12, BRYANT 9
Drexel jumped out to a 4-0 advantage, and after Bryant tied the game 8-8 in the fourth quarter, the Dragons scored four straight goals to put the game out of reach Saturday in Smithfield. Redshirt-sophomore Jake Buonaiuto (Miller Place, N.Y.) led the Bryant offense with a career-high four goals. 

MASSA IN ELITE COMPANY WITH SHOWING VS. DREXEL
Graduate student Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) won 23 of 24 face-offs in last Saturday's game against Drexel - good for a .958 face-off percentage. Massa is one of just four players nationally to win 95 percent of face-offs in a game this season, joining Albany's TD Ierlan, Denver's Trevor Baptiste and Yale's Conor Mackie. 

Massa holds a .705 face-off percentage on the year - a mark that places him third nationally. His 10.57 ground balls per game rank third as well.

MASSA EARNS NEC, USILA HONORS
Graduate student Kenny Massa earned a pair of honors for his performance last Saturday against Drexel. Massa earned NEC Player of the Week and USILA Team of the Week recognition after going 23-of-24 on face-offs for a .958 face-off percentage.

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 seven games in 2018. 

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

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' .596 winning percentage over those 10 seasons ranks third in New England behind Yale (.679) and Brown (.622). 

353 AND COUNTING
Head coach Mike Pressler ranks sixth among active NCAA coaches in all divisions with 353 career victories. Of those 353, 124 have come while leading the Bulldogs since 2007. 

WINNING WAYS
The Bulldogs have reached double-digit wins 14 times in the program's first 18 seasons. Bryant has recorded 10 or more wins in eight of head coach Mike Pressler's first 11 seasons, including six of nine at the Division I level. 

CONFRENCE CALL
Bryant has a 33-10 record in NEC games since the conference began sponsoring men's lacrosse in 2010. The 33 wins are the most by any conference team - eight more than Robert Morris - and the .767 winning percentage is the best of the five teams that have been NEC members since the conference's formation. 

NEXT UP: SACRED HEART
Bryant plays its first road game in a span of a month with an NEC contest Saturday, March 24, at Sacred Heart. The 1 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.

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