FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Bryant University men's lacrosse team plays its first road game in 28 days when the Bulldogs travel to Connecticut for a Saturday afternoon NEC clash with Sacred Heart. Saturday's game begins a stretch of four out of six games on the road to close the regular season.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Sacred Heart is 4-4 on the year and 0-1 in the NEC after a 12-8 loss at Robert Morris last Saturday. The Pioneers have dropped three straight after a 4-1 start to the year that included wins over Stony Brook and Providence.
Max Tuttle leads the Sacred Heart offense with 28 goals and 39 points, while Logan Liljeberg has racked up a team-high 13 assists through eight games. Tuttle ranks third in the nation in goals per game (3.50), while Kevin Cop's five man-up goals are tied for fourth nationally. Sacred Heart's 9.13 caused turnovers per game rank seventh in the nation.
Bryant and Sacred Heart are meeting for the 12th time with the Bulldogs holding an 11-0 mark in the series. Cam Ziegler (Carlsbad, Calif.) tallied three goals, one assist and three ground balls in last year's 13-7 win in Smithfield, while Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) went 17-of-22 on face-offs and collected 13 ground balls. Bryant is 4-0 in games played at Campus Field.
LAST TIME OUT: BRYANT 20, MOUNT ST. MARY'S 11
Freshman Marc O'Rourke (Hingham, Mass.) tied the Bryant Division I single-game record with six goals and a total of 10 Bulldogs found the back in the net in a 20-11 win over Mount St. Mary's last Saturday to open NEC play. The 20 goals were the fourth-highest total in the nation this season and the most by Bryant since 2012.
Saturday's win over Mount St. Mary's 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 125-75 since head coach Mike Pressler arrived in Smithfield for the 2007 season. Saturday's game was also Pressler's 200th game as Bryant head coach.
O'ROURKE COLLECTS TRIO OF AWARDS FOR MOUNT GAME
Freshman Marc O'Rourke was named NEC Player and Rookie of the Week Monday after a breakout game in the win over Mount St. Mary's. O'Rourke tallied a career-high six goals to go along with two assists and three ground balls as he helped Bryant to its highest scoring output since 2012. The six goals tied the Bryant Division I single-game mark and were the most by an NEC freshman in two years.
O'Rourke added to his mantel Tuesday with a Team of the Week selection by the USILA - the third for a Bulldog this season.
MASSA IN ELITE COMPANY WITH SHOWING VS. DREXEL
Graduate student Kenny Massa won 23 of 24 face-offs in the game against Drexel (3/10) - 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 .695 face-off percentage on the year - a mark that places him fourth nationally. His 11.75 ground balls per game rank third.
MASSA EARNS PAIR OF USILA HONORS
Graduate student Kenny Massa has been named to the USILA Team of the Week twice this season for his excellent performance from the face-off X. Massa first earned the honor after a 19-for-24 showing with 16 ground balls in the season-opening win over Manhattan (2/3) and added a second honor with a 23-of-24 effort in the game against Drexel (3/10).
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, eight assists and 16 ground balls 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 four goals, 13 ground balls and eight caused turnovers in 2018.
JAKE MAKING THE MOST OF EXTRA-MAN OPPORTUNITIES
Redshirt-sophomore Jake Buonaiuto (Miller Place, N.Y.) scored a pair of man-up goals in Saturday's win over Mount St. Mary's and has four on the year - a total good for ninth nationally.
NEXT UP: ROBERT MORRIS
Bryant treks to Moon Township for a Friday night game at Robert Morris. 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.