SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University men's lacrosse team plays its final regular season home game when the Bulldogs host Hobart Saturday for Senior Day.
Bryant enters the weekend as one of three teams in contention to host the Northeast Conference Championship. The Bulldogs will play their NEC regular season finale Saturday, while Saint Joseph's and Robert Morris each have two conference games remaining, including a matchup between the teams April 28 in Pittsburgh to close out the conference slate.
The Bulldogs will honor their 13 seniors and graduate students - Trevor Bovich (West Islip, N.Y.), Jake Chandler (Charlotte, N.C.), Kyle Cornell (Darien, Conn.), Nick Hallmark (Novato, Calif.), Anthony Johnson (Fairfield, Conn.), Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Ty Martz (Beverly, Mass.), Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.), Devin Ray (Bedminster, N.J.), Chas South (Ridgefield, Conn.), Tommy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.), James Werner (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and Cam Ziegler (Carlsbad, Calif.) - prior to Saturday's game.
SCOUTING THE STATESMEN
Hobart is 4-8 on the year and 1-3 in the NEC after dropping its last three games. The Statesmen played two ranked teams during that stretch (Syracuse, Robert Morris) and have played two others this year (Penn State, Georgetown).
Matthew Pedicine ranks sixth in the nation on the face-off (.664), while the Statesmen are 10th nationally in clearing (.910). Chris Aslanian has a team-high 23 goals on the year and his 22 assists rank second in the NEC.
Bryant holds a 6-4 advantage in a series between teams that are meeting for the ninth time in the last five seasons. The home team has won all six regular season contests as the Bulldogs and Statesmen are split 2-2 in NEC regular season matchups and 1-1 in non-conference games.
Bryant and Hobart have met in each of the last four NEC tournaments with the Bulldogs having the upper hand in three of the four showdowns.
Bryant captured the NEC title last season in Geneva with a 5-4 victory, as James Werner (New Rochelle, N.Y.) turned away 10 of 14 Hobart shots on goal to earn NEC Championship Most Outstanding Player honors. The Bulldogs trailed 2-0 and 3-1 before four straight goals from the Black and Gold turned the tide. Chas South (Ridgefield, Conn.) collected three caused turnovers in the win.
LAST TIME OUT: SAINT JOSEPH'S 14, BRYANT 7
Saint Joseph's scored the final four goals of the first half and opened the second half with two more, turning a 4-3 lead into a 10-3 advantage in last Saturday's victory in Philadelphia. Graduate student Kenny Massa (Huntington, N.Y.) went 17-of-24 at the face-off X.
Senior Jake Chandler (Charlotte, N.C.), junior Jack Horan (San Rafael, Calif.) and sophomore Joe Peroni (Lakeville, Mass.) all posted career-high totals in caused turnovers for the Bulldogs, who have recorded 19 over their last two games.
TRIO OF BULLDOGS DRAFTED WEDNESDAY
A program-record three Bulldogs - senior Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.), graduate student Kenny Massa and senior Anthony Johnson (Fairfield, Conn.) - were selected in Wednesday's Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. Kennedy was chosen by the Boston Cannons in the third round (26th pick), Massa was selected by the Ohio Machine in the fourth round (31st pick) and Johnson was picked by Boston in the seventh round (55th pick). Massa and Johnson's pick numbers - 31 and 55 - match their Bryant uniform numbers.
MASSA ADDS TO MANTEL
Graduate student Kenny Massa has earned two NEC Player of the Week honors in 2018 and been named to the USILA Team of the Week twice. Massa ranks second in the nation in ground balls per game (11.92) and third in face-off percentage (.707) this season.
TRIO RISING IN PROGRAM RECORD BOOK
Senior Cam Ziegler's (Carlsbad, Calif.) 82 career goals and 127 career points are both tied for 10th in program history. Dan Sipperly scored 82 goals from 2011-14, while Max Weisenberg tallied 127 points from 2009-12.
KENNEDY TABBED AS SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
Senior Tom Kennedy was selected as one of 10 finalists nationally for the Senior CLASS Award, an honor given for accomplishments both on and off the field. Three of the 10 finalists hail from the NEC, with the other two coming from Saint Joseph's.
KENNEDY NAMED TO TEWAARATON WATCH LIST
Senior Tom Kennedy was one of 50 players nationally named to the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award March 1. Kennedy has 14 goals, nine assists and 22 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 Feb. 10. Coffey has four goals, two assists, 16 ground balls and a team-high nine caused turnovers in 2018.
Redshirt-sophomore Jake Buonaiuto (Miller Place, N.Y.) ranks second in the NEC and 17th nationally with five man-up goals in 2018. Freshman Marc O'Rourke (Hingham, Mass.) is fifth in the conference with four.
BULLDOGS AMONG NEW ENGLAND'S BEST
Bryant has won 103 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' .602 winning percentage over those 10 seasons ranks third in New England behind Yale (.687) and Brown (.613).
357 AND COUNTING
Head coach Mike Pressler ranks sixth among active NCAA coaches in all divisions with 357 career victories. Of those 357, 128 have come while leading the Bulldogs since 2007.
Bryant has a 37-11 record in NEC games since the conference began sponsoring men's lacrosse in 2010. The 37 wins are the most by any conference team - nine more than Robert Morris - and the .771 winning percentage is the best of the five teams that have been NEC members since the conference's formation.
NEXT UP: BROWN
Bryant closes out the regular season Tuesday when the Bulldogs travel to Brown for a non-conference game at 7 p.m.