March 31, 2011

Men's Lacrosse Opens NEC Play Friday Night At Bryant

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-4, 0-0 NEC) at
Bryant University Bulldogs (3-5, 0-0 NEC)
Friday, April 1, 2011 - 7 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium - Smithfield, R.I.

Bobcats Open Northeast Conference Play At Bryant Friday Night
The Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team opens Northeast Conference play Friday night when it travels to Smithfield, R.I., to take on Bryant. The Bobcats are coming off back-to-back tough losses to Hartford and UMBC. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs also fell last time out at No. 12 Stony Brook, 13-6. Quinnipiac and Bryant have met just once in the teams' histories, a 7-6 Bulldogs victory last May 1 in Hamden.

Scouting the Bryant University Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are led by Peter McMahon, whose 19 points and 14 assists are both team bests. Gary Crowly has scored a team-high 16 goals, while Evan Roberts and Max Weisenberg have added seven goals apiece. Notre Dame transfer Trevor Sipperly has won 56.2 percent (72-of-138) of his face-off opportunities and picked up 25 ground balls, second only to Mason Poli (31) for Bryant. Poli's 13 caused turnovers also pace the Bulldogs. Jameson Love has compiled a .543 save percentage and 7.23 goals-against average in net for BU. The Bulldogs have been outstanding on special teams, posting the second-best man-down defense in the nation (.875) and eight-best man-up offense (.478).

Causing Havoc
A year after finishing fifth in the nation in caused turnovers per game (10.21), the Bobcats currently rank sixth among NCAA D-I teams at 10.5. Long-stick midfielder Bobby Schnibbe has led the way with 1.83 CT/gm. (23rd-NCAA).

Benz, But Don't Break
Senior goalie Kevin Benzing has been particularly stingy this season, averaging 10.83 saves per game (24th-NCAA) while maintaining a .580 save percentage (14th-NCAA) and a 7.77 goals-against average (19th-NCAA).

Stepping Up On The Man-Down
QU is seventh in the nation in man-down defense (.800). The Bobcats have held opponents to just three man-up goals in the last 26 opportunities, covering 21 minutes.

Oppenheimer Climbs Quinnipiac Career Goals List
Jack Oppenheimer's 62 career goals rank 11th in Quinnipiac history.

Hagg of a Streak
Christian Haggerty has recorded at least one point in each of his 20 games in the blue and gold. The 20 games rank 26th among active point streaks in the nation.

Benzing Grabs Second In Saves
With 19 saves against Holy Cross March 5, Kevin Benzing passed Mike Sturmer '99 (428) for second all-time at QU. He now stands at 454, 174 behind the all-time leader at Quinnipiac, T.J. Barnett '04 (628).

Career-High For Coppolecchia
Chris Coppolecchia scooped up a career-high seven ground balls, March 26 at UMBC.

Webster Wins Again...And Again
Dylan Webster was named the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week for the third straight week, March 21. The freshman midfielder had a goal and an assist against Hartford, March 19, a week after tallying two goals in the Bobcats' 9-3 win at Providence, March 12. He began the stretch with three goals and an assist against Holy Cross, March 5.

Benzing Takes Second NEC Defensive Player of the Week
Kevin Benzing was named the NEC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks on March 21. The senior goalie made 12 saves on 22 chances in the Bobcats' 10-9 overtime loss to Hartford.

Hat Trick Twosome
Kevin Kelly and Christian Haggerty each compiled hat tricks against Hartford. Kelly now has five hat tricks for his four-year career, while Haggerty has four in his two years at QU.

Second Half Lockdown
QU outscored Providence, 6-0, in the second half on March 12. After the teams were deadlocked at 3-3 following the first half, Quinnipiac scored goals on six of seven shots on goal, while Bobcats goalie Kevin Benzing stopped all five shots on goal he saw in the second half.

Good Things Come In Three's
Kevin Kelly tallied a career-high six points on three goals and three assists, March 12, at Providence.

NEC Recognizes Benzing, Webster
The Northeast Conference recognized Kevin Benzing and Dylan Webster as its defensive player and rookie of the week, respectively, on March 7. Benzing made 31 saves in two games, including 19 in the Bobcats' 10-5 victory against Holy Cross. Webster scored three goals and added an assist against Holy Cross.

New To The NEC
With Bryant becoming eligible for postseason play in 2011, the Northeast Conference now has six men's lacrosse-playing institutions and has officially become a men's lacrosse league. QU joins Bryant, Mount St. Mary's, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart and Wagner.

Crazy Eight
Quinnipiac finished 2010 eighth in the nation in ground balls per game (35.57).

20/20
Christian Haggerty became just the fourth player in Quinnipiac history to compile a 20-goal, 20-assist season with 20 goals and 25 assists last year. Haggerty joined Joe Baglio (49 G, 29 A in 2001) as the only other Quinnipiac player with a 20-20 season at Division I, while Brian Perry (33 G, 25 A in 1998) and P.J. Gillard (24 G, 21 A in 1995) achieved the feat at the Division II level.

Glad To Have You
Christian Haggerty led the Bobcats in points (45), with 20 goals and 25 assists in 2010. His assist total tied for second on the QU single-season list, tied with Brian Perry in 1998. Haggerty was the first Bobcat to reach as many as 17 assists in a season since both Joe Baglio (29) and Jeff Speed (24) did so in 2001.

Oppenheimer Goals: The Right Way To Score
With 32 goals last season, Jack Oppenheimer led the Bobcats and moved into 10th all-time on the Quinnipiac single-season chart. Oppenheimer's 71 career goals rank 13th all-time at Quinnipiac.

15 Seniors Depart
The Bobcats must find a way to replace 15 graduated seniors from a year ago, many coming in the midfield. The top scorer to depart is Alex Marotto, who contributed 15 goals, while Todd Kaiser also chipped in with 12 goals. Garett Kerr also had 10 goals. Face-off specialist Ben Mullaney will certainly be missed, while Alex DeAlmeida's 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) will also have to be replaced.

Up Next
The Bobcats continue Northeast Conference play Saturday, April 9, when they welcome Robert Morris to the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. Opening face-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.