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Bryant opens NEC slate Friday night in New Britain

Photo by: Peggy Clark Photography
Photo by: Peggy Clark Photography

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's lacrosse team opens their 2018 Northeast Conference schedule on Friday night, when they travel to New Britain, Conn. to take on Central Connecticut at 7:00 p.m. The Bulldogs pose the league's most prolific offense after scoring 15 goals per game in their non-conference schedule.

Bryant is coming off a 20-goal flurry against Siena on Saturday afternoon, their largest scoring game since 2014. The Bulldogs had 12 different goalscorers, led by sophomore Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.) and senior Catlin Brown (San Diego, Calif.).


Opponent: Central Connecticut

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Artue Field

Watch Live: NEC Front Row

Live Stats: Presto Sports

Live Updates via Twitter: @BryantWLax


The Bulldogs have won the last six meetings between the neighboring state rivals, with the streak starting in the 2013 Northeast Conference semifinals. Bryant has not lost in New Britain since 2012, an 11-5 defeat.


Central Connecticut struggled in their non-conference slate, winning only one of a possible nine games to start the season. Their lone win came by way of a 19-4 defeat of the Hartford Hawks on March 6. This is the finale of a three-game homestand, with the first two ending in losses to Hofstra and UMass Lowell.

The Blue Devils are led by Morgan Sinton and Megan Szalowski offensively. Sinton has recorded 21 points on the season, scoring 15 goals and dishing six assists. Szalowski has tallied 20 points, with a team-leading 16 goals. Jackie Branthover has started eight of nine games in the cage for Central, recording a 13.19 goals-against average and a .435 save percentage.


A three-time tournament champion in the league, Bryant has gone 32-5 in the Northeast Conference under Jill Batcheller. The Bulldogs have won their last 10 regular season conference matchups dating back to the 2016 season and have not lost more than one NEC matchup since 2013.


During the 2018 season, the Bulldogs have performed better away from Smithfield than they have at home this season. The Black and Gold are averaging 1.80 more goals per game and 3.05 less goals-against per game throughout the year. Their shot percentage (.473) and shot on goal percentage (.731) are also higher outside of Rhode Island.


Bryant's 20-goal output on Saturday was not centered on one or two outbursts, but 12 different goal scorers, including three players who scored their first goal of the season and two who tallied the first goal of their careers. As a whole on the season, Bryant has four scorers in double figures and 17 different goal scorers in 2018.


Bryant's offense is headed to the program history books if they keep up record pace, both on an individual and team level. They are on pace to break the Division I record in four different categories (points per game, goals per game, shots per game and shots on goal per game). Individually, sophomore Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.) and junior Jess DeMeo (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) are set to finish 1-2 in the Division I record books in both points per game and goals per game.


In five of her last six games, sophomore Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.) has scored four goals and added an assist, including an 11-point performance against Harvard on March 10. She has jumped at least 45 spots in the national rankings in four different NCAA categories, including 73 slots in goals per game and 135 spots in shot percentage. She was the 18th player in Bryant history to join the 100-career point club, and is the second fastest to reach the mark in the program's history.


The Bulldogs are 37-14 away from Smithfield under the direction of Jill Batcheller, including a perfect 18-0 in Northeast Conference regular season games on the road. In the 2016 season, Bryant went a perfect 9-0 on the road.


Sixth-year head coach Jill Batcheller coached her 100th game against Delaware last Sunday and enters Friday night with a 70-31 career record, including a 32-5 record in Northeast Conference games. She has not had a losing season in her tenure, and her teams have won at least 13 games in each of the last four seasons.