April 24, 2009

Men's Lacrosse Looks To Lock Up GWLL Tournament Berth At Bellarmine

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (3-8, 1-3 GWLL) at

Bellarmine University Knights (6-7, 0-4 GWLL)

Saturday, April 25, 2009 – 1 p.m.

Owsley B. Frazier Stadium – Louisville, Ky.

Bobcats Look For GWLL Tournament Berth

The Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team closes the regular season with a chance to lock up its second straight GWLL Tournament berth at Bellarmine. A win would place the Bobcats in the tournament, while a loss would put Quinnipiac in a precarious situation. QU has taken all three meetings with the Knights in the all-time series, winning each of the past three seasons. However, two of the three wins have been one-goal decisions, including a 6-5 victory last season in Hamden. After winning six of its first eight games, Bellarmine has fallen in the last five to drop to 6-7. Four of the losses have come against GWLL foes, accounting for the Knights' 0-4 league mark. Quinnipiac is coming off a 10-2 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame, the lone remaining undefeated team in Division I, while Bellarmine fell at Bryant, 14-4, last time out.

Scouting the Bellarmine Knights

Bellarmine has two potent scorers in Derek Hopcroft (26 goals, 33 points) and Sean Doyle (25 goals, 32 points). Jarrett Davis has matched Doyle's point production with 19 goals and a team-high 13 assists. Chase Williams (11) and Ray Finnegan, Jr. (10) have both reached double-digit goals, while Luke Acton has 10 assists. Bobby Snider has picked up a team-high 40 ground balls, while winning 53.1 percent (127-239) of his face-off opportunities. Scott Bowles has seen the majority of time in net, compiling a 10.51 goals-against average and a .500 save percentage.

Oh, the Playoff Possibilities

The Bobcats would clinch the fourth, and final, berth in the GWLL Tournament with a win at Bellarmine. With a loss, the Bobcats would need a Denver loss and the fewest goals against in games against the Knights and the Pioneers to punch their ticket to suburban Detroit. Denver has played both teams, allowing 20 goals. Meanwhile, the Bobcats allowed 10 to the Pioneers and the Knights allowed 12. The Knights would have to allow seven or fewer goals to advance, while QU could advance by allowing as many as nine goals in a one-goal loss.

Sticks & Stones Raises More Than $16,000

The Quinnipiac men's lacrosse team raised more than $16,000 in a season-long effort to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In coordination with the "Sticks & Stones To Conquer Prostate Cancer" campaign, the Bobcats culminated the effort at their final home game of the season, April 18, against Notre Dame.

Mullaney Milestone

Ben Mullaney became just the 11th Bobcat to scoop up 100 career ground balls in the Bobcats' loss at Providence, March 18. With 131 ground balls, including 15 against Sacred Heart, he's sixth in Quinnipiac history. His 5.27 ground balls per game this season rank 21st in the nation and second in the GWLL.

Oppenheimer: The Right Way To Play

Jack Oppenheimer owns the team lead in goals (16) and points (21), and is tied for third in assists (5). After opening the season with a goal and four assists against Wagner, Oppenheimer followed with three goals against St. John's and Sacred Heart, two against Lafayette and Air Force and one each against Brown, Denver, Detroit, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Bobcats Back In the NEILA Rankings

After a five-week hiatus, the Bobcats returned to the NEILA rankings, following their April 4 win against No. 19 Denver. The Bobcats settled into the No. 7 position before slipping into the eighth spot the last two weeks.

Shots Bouncing Off Benzing

Kevin Benzing entered the week ranked 28th and 30th in the nation in save percentage (.549) and goals-against average (9.09), respectively. He stopped 16 shots in the Bobcats win against No. 19 Denver, his fifth career performance of 15 saves or more.

Kaiser Steps Up

Junior Todd Kaiser scored four goals and added two assists as the Bobcats earned an 11-10 win against No. 19 Denver, the first win against a nationally-ranked team in program history. Included in the performance were points on four consecutive goals to turn a 6-3 Bobcats deficit at the half into a 7-6 lead by the end of the third quarter. Quinnipiac never trailed again. For his effort, Kaiser was named both the Great Western Lacrosse League and New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Player of the Week.

Messina Moves Up The Career Assists Chart

With two assists against Denver, April 4, senior Gary Messina moved into a tie for 14th all-time on the Quinnipiac career assists list. Of his 28 career assists, 26 have come in the last two seasons. Messina racked up 16 assists (T-8th QU single season) in 2008, and currently leads the Bobcats with 10 assists so far in 2009.

Dimond Shines In Quinnipiac Victories

Junior Ted Dimond scored three goals and added two assists in the Bobcats' 15-4 win against Detroit, March 22. He also scored three times to lead the Bobcats to a 13-5 win at Wagner, Feb. 14.

Bobcats Pick Up 57 Ground Balls

The Bobcats scooped up 57 ground balls against Detroit, March 22. The 57 ground balls are a Quinnipiac single-game high for the last two seasons. 25 QU players picked up at least one.

Dendas Delivers; Kerr Connects

Zach Dendas and Garett Kerr scored twice each in the Bobcats' Feb. 21 loss at St. John's. Dendas also added an assist.

Gast From the Past

After missing all of last season due to injury, Mike Gast scored two goals in his return to the Bobcats' line-up, Feb. 14 at Wagner.

Benzing Begins Strong

Goalie Kevin Benzing stopped 15 shots, while allowing just five goals at Wagner.

Mullaney Picks Up His Game

Ben Mullaney scooped up seven ground balls and won 12-of-20 face-offs in the Bobcats' season opener at Wagner.

Didn't You Used To Play Here?

2008 All-GWLL Second Team selection Drew Maceranka returns to the Bobcats as an assistant coach. Maceranka anchored the Quinnipiac defense last season and earned a spot on the North team at the USILA North/South All-Star Game.

On Deck

The Bobcats hope to continue their season at the GWLL Championships, to be held May 1-3 at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich. Three of the four berths to the tournament have been clinched by Notre Dame, Air Force and Ohio State. Meanwhile, hope remains alive for Quinnipiac, Denver and Bellarmine for the final berth. A win against Bellarmine would give Quinnipiac the final spot, while a loss, combined with a Denver loss against Air Force would give the berth to the team that allowed the fewest goals to the other two in the tie-breaker.