Getting to know Bryant


first_img Published on May 10, 2013 at 12:52 am Five years ago, Bryant was wrapping up its 27th year as a Division-II competitor. In five years, the Bulldogs have risen to respectability on the national scene. Led by former Duke head coach Mike Pressler, the Bulldogs have a chance to play Cinderella on Sunday night at 7:30 in the Carrier Dome.Record: 8-10 (4-1 Northeast Conference)Season outline: Bryant started the season 0-7, losing nonconference games to Colgate, Fairfield, Bucknell, Vermont, Drexel, Albany and Harvard before squeaking out its first win of the season, 10-9, against Stony Brook on March 23. The Bulldogs then scored 47 goals in their first three NEC matchups, ultimately finishing 4-1 in conference play and claiming the top seed in the conference tournament. They beat Sacred Heart 11-9 in the semifinals before routing Robert Morris 14-7 in the final on Saturday to repeat as NEC champions. This year, though, the title came with an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament.Players to watch:Colin Dunster: The junior midfielder is Bryant’s leading scorer with 31 goals and 14 assists. He tallied a game-high six points (two goals, four assists) in the NEC final.Shane Morell: The sophomore attack is the Bulldogs’ most accurate regular scorer. With 27 goals and 18 assists, he’s tied with Dunster for the team lead in points, but shoots 28.4 percent and finds the cage on 61.1 percent of his shots.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPeter McMahon: The senior attack is playing to continue his career, and with three straight hat tricks entering the NCAA tournament, it shows. He was the NEC tournament MVP.Kevin Massa: If there’s one player who can single-handedly hurt SU, it’s Massa, a quick-stick sophomore midfielder. The faceoff specialist is 293-for-411 (71.3 percent) at the X this year. Against Robert Morris in the NEC final, he won 21-of-25 faceoffs.Gunnar Waldt: The redshirt freshman netminder has been a steady presence between the pipes through the second half of Bryant’s season. He’s saved 57 percent of shots this year and averages nine goals allowed per game. Waldt made 11 saves while allowing seven goals in the NEC final.Head coach:Mike Pressler: Pressler spent 16 seasons at Duke before being asked to step down after three of his players were accused of rape in April 2006. The accusations ultimately proved false and the charges were dropped, but Pressler has moved on to reshape the Bryant program in only seven seasons. He led the Bulldogs to a 14-4 mark last year, an undefeated record at home and their first-ever Division-I national ranking, cracking the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll at No. 20 in early April 2012. Now Pressler looks to push the program one step further when it takes on the Orange on Sunday.– Compiled by The Daily Orange sports staff Comments Related Stories Out of the blue: Pressler leads Bryant into NCAA tournament matchup with Syracuse after rebuilding in wake of Duke rape scandalSyracuse preps for Bryant’s Massa at X, attack-minded Policenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img