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Bryant puts three-game win streak on the line Sunday in Brooklyn

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

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's lacrosse team plays the second game of their first full Northeast Conference weekend on Sunday morning, when they head to LIU Brooklyn to take on the Blackbirds for an 11 a.m. first draw at LIU Field.

The Bulldogs are coming off a second-half offensive explosion, scoring 12 in the final 30 minutes of their 18-6 win over Sacred Heart on Friday afternoon. Junior Jess DeMeo (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) and sophomore Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.) led Bryant with five points each.

GAME INFORMATION

Opponent: LIU Brooklyn

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Location: LIU Field

Watch Live: NEC Front Row

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats

Live Updates via Twitter: @BryantWLax

THE SERIES

LIU Brooklyn won the first game between these two teams by a 22-20 scoreline, but the rest of the matchups have gone Bryant's way, with each of the last two coming by a combined margin of 18. The Bulldogs won the 2017 version of this matchup 19-7 in Smithfield.

SCOUTING THE BLACKBIRDS

LIU Brooklyn has dropped their last four games, including their first two in Northeast Conference play to Sacred Heart and, most recently, Central Connecticut. On the season, the Blackbirds are 3-8 and have only won once at LIU Field, defeating Hartford on March 10 by a final of 19-2.

Offensively, Dale Cosgrave and Amanda Masullo power the Blackbirds attack. Cosgrave leads the team with 28 assists on the season and entered the weekend as the conference's leader in that department. Massulo is second on the team with 27 points. In the cage, Sam Kidd has made nine starts with a 14.31 GAA.

BRYANT vs. THE NORTHEAST CONFERENCE

A three-time tournament champion in the league, Bryant has gone 34-5 in the Northeast Conference under Jill Batcheller. The Bulldogs have won their last 12 regular season conference matchups dating back to the 2016 season and have not lost more than one NEC matchup since 2013.

LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING

Junior Meredith James (Essex Fells, N.J.) filled up the stat sheet on Friday afternoon vs. Sacred Heart, doing about everything but scoring a goal for herself. She chipped in an assist, three ground balls, five draw controls and three caused turnovers in the 18-6 victory. The ground balls and caused turnovers are both career highs for the Essex Fells, N.J. native.

RECORDS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN

After recording five on Friday afternoon, junior Meredith James (Essex Fells, N.J.) became Bryant's all-time single-season draw controls record holder, with 60 on the season. She passed the record set by Shannon Burns, who recorded 59 in 2015. Sophomore Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.) is on track to break the single-season points record, while junior Jess DeMeo (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) could also set a new goals record. As a team, this offense is on pace to smash the goals per game record and the defense is currently second on the leaderboards for season save percentage and goals-against average.

YOU GET A GOAL, YOU GET A GOAL, EVERYBODY GETS A GOAL!

In the previous three games, a total of 32 players have scored goals for Bryant, totaling 60 for the offense. Within this, three different players scored their first goal of the season: freshman Emma Lindquist (Windham, N.H.), and sophomores Maggie Pressler (Smithfield, R.I.) and Sloane Sweitzer (Old Lyme, Conn.). It was also Lindquist and Sweitzer's first goal of their careers when they scored against Central Connecticut.

DRAW!

Since their March 17 bout with Niagara, Bryant has been dominant at the draw circle, averaging 17 draw controls per game. Juniors Lauren Britton (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) and Meredith James (Essex Fells, N.J.) have been leading the way, with James averaging 7.0 controls and Britton averaging 5.5 during that span. Entering the weekend, they sit second and third, respectively, in the NEC in draw controls per game. James also cracks the Top 25 nationally, recording 5.5 per game entering the weekend's games. Senior Laura Fullam (Massapequa, N.Y.) has also made an impact in the circle, recording a career-high seven in Bryant's win on Friday afternoon vs. Sacred Heart.

DEFENSE WINS... EVERYTHING

Bryant's defense has been a difference-maker for the Black and Gold in 2018, standing tall in wins. When holding teams to 10 or fewer goals, the Bulldogs are 7-1 on the season. In those six wins, Bryant has allowed an average of 5.14 goals per game.

HOME... AWAY FROM HOME?

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 2.83 more goals per game and 3.92 less goals-against per game throughout the year. Their shot percentage (.510) and shot on goal percentage (.747) are also higher outside of Rhode Island.

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU

Senior Catlin Brown (San Diego, Calif.) has come alive offensively for the Bulldogs, recording 13 points in the last two games for Bryant, including scoring nine goals. This comes after a career-high eight at Central Connecticut, in which she also matched her career mark in goals (5) and assist (3), both of which were set in 2016. Her totals combined after the Siena and Central Connecticut matchups are the highest two-game point total she has had in her career, with the second-highest being her 10-point NEC Tournament performance in 2016.

ROAD TOUGH

The Bulldogs are 38-14 away from Smithfield under the direction of Jill Batcheller, including a perfect 19-0 in Northeast Conference regular season games on the road. In the 2016 season, Bryant went a perfect 9-0 on the road.

THE BATCHELLER FILE

Sixth-year head coach Jill Batcheller enters Friday afternoon with a 72-31 career record, including a 34-5 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.