May 1, 2012

2012 NEC Tournament: #3 Men's Lacrosse Squares Off Against #2 Bryant Friday Night

Friday, May 4, 2012 – 8:30 p.m.
#3 Quinnipiac University Bobcats (3-10, 2-3 NEC) vs.
#2 Bryant University Bulldogs (12-4, 4-1 NEC)
Joe Walton Stadium – Moon Township, Pa.

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2012 NEC Tournament: #3 Men's Lacrosse Squares Off Against #2 Bryant Friday Night
The #3 seeded Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team (3-10, 2-3 NEC) will look to advance to its second consecutive Northeast Conference Tournament Championship on Friday night, as the Bobcats take on #2 Bryant University (12-4, 4-1 NEC) at Joe Walton Field in Moon Township, Pa. The #1 seeded Robert Morris Colonials (11-3, 5-0 NEC) and #4 Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (5-8, 2-3 NEC) open the single-elimination at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Bobcats and Bulldogs at 8:30 p.m. 

All-Time Against Bryant
The Bobcats trail the Bulldogs, 2-1, in the all-time series; however defeated Bryant in their lone playoff encounter. Last year, Quinnipiac erased a four-goal second-half deficit to defeat Bryant, 13-12, at the Bryant Turf Complex in the NEC Semifinals. 

Last Time Against Bryant
QU featured five different players in the scoring column on April 14, 2012, but the Bobcats fell short to, at the time, No. 19 nationally ranked Bryant University, 9-5, on Senior Day at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field. Michael Sagl totaled a three-point afternoon with one goal and two assists to lead the Bobcats. Fellow classmate Matt Diehl also finished with multiple points, compiling a goal and an assist in the outing. Dylan Webster, Basil Kostaras and Brendan Wilbur each added a goal for Quinnipiac. Dylan Torey made eight stops for the Bobcats, while Jameson Love turned aside six for Bryant. Coppolecchia caused seven turnovers in the game, improving upon his national lead for the category. 

Scouting the Bulldogs
The Bulldogs present a daunting challenge for the Bobcats on Friday night, but enter the match-up having lost two of their last three games. Bryant strung together a 10-game winning-streak through the heart of the season, but saw it come to an end at Yale two weeks ago. Most recently, the Bulldogs traveled out to Robert Morris to determine the #1 seed of the Northeast Conference Tournament. The Colonials prevailed, 13-12, in a thrilling victory at Joe Walton Stadium in Moon Township, Pa. The key to Bryant's success comes via the faceoff, where it holds a .638 team faceoff percentage, good enough for second in the country. Freshman Kevin Massa is the main reason for the feat, taking 226-of-360 (.628) faceoff attempts in his rookie campaign. Offensively, sophomore Colin Dunster leads a potent attack with 31 goals and 12 assists for a total of 43 points. Joining Dunster in the attack is junior Peter McMahon, who also creates havoc on the offensive end. He has 21 goals and 23 assists for a total of 44 points thus far. On the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs have been the toughest NEC team to score on this season. Senior goalkeeper Jameson Love has stopped 60.8 percent of the shots he has faced, allowing 7.67 goals per game. 

On The Air
This weekend's games can be seen on Northeast Conference TV feed by clicking the appropriate link on the official website of QU athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com. Fans can also tune into live stats as well.

A Postseason Appearance: Nothing New For QU
Fresh off a 2011 NEC Regular-Season Championship, Quinnipiac will make its fourth postseason conference tournament appearance in as many chances on Friday. QU faced Notre Dame as the #4 seed in both the 2008 and 2009 Great Western Lacrosse League semifinals, while ECAC Lacrosse did not sponsor a tournament in 2010, when QU finished third in the league. Last year, the Bobcats served as the #2 seed in the inaugural NEC Tournament.   

Basil's Back
Plagued by a lingering injury for most of April, Basil Kostaras returned to form against Sacred Heart last Saturday. He recorded his fourth multipoint game of the season with two goals and an assist for a three-point performance. 

No Big Diehl
With his assist on last Saturday at Sacred Heart, freshman Matt Diehl is currently riding the longest point-streak on the team. He has registered a point in nine straight games, a span that includes 11 goals, 13 assists and 24 points. 

Leading The NCAA
Chris Coppolecchia leads the nation in caused turnovers per game after forcing 27 of them in the last six games. He is averaging 3.31 per outing, placing him atop the Northeast Conference as well. Coppolecchia notched a career-best with seven of them against #19 Bryant on April 14. He also just moved into eighth place all-time in career ground balls. 

Basil Approaching QU Record Books
Basil Kostaras is inching closer towards embedding his name in the career record books at Quinnipiac. The junior midfielder is one goal away (39), five assists away (23) and three points (62) away from cracking top-20 in all three categories.

Among The Nation's Best
Dylan Webster is currently tied for 11th in the country in groundballs per game. The sophomore attackman is averaging 6.23 per game, also placing him third in the Northeast Conference.

Lending A Helping Hand
Freshman Matt Diehl has stepped into his midfield role very nicely this season. Diehl has 17 assists thus far, accumulating to a 1.31 per game average. He is eighth in the Northeast Conference and ranks 40th in all of Division I.

Uncorked
Freshman Pat Corcoran notched a career-high five points against Robert Morris on April 21. Corcoran led the Bobcats with a career-best four goals, all coming consecutively in the first quarter, and then added an assist in the second frame. He has 10 goals and five assists for a total of 15 points on the season.

It Was A Good Run
After his 10th and 11th goals of the season against Wagner on April 7, Basil Kostaras had recorded a point in 13 straight games, a streak that dated back to April 16, 2011. Kostaras had 23 goals and nine assists during the span. Unfortunately, he was unable to collect a point at Harvard on April 10.

Stellar D
During its previous three-game winning streak (Binghamton, Mount St. Mary's, Wagner), Quinnipiac was terrific on the defensive end. The Bobcats forced 37 turnovers, held opponents to just 66 percent when attempting to clear the zone and allowed just eight goals per game. Freshman Dylan Torey has allowed 22 goals and saved over 50 percent of the shots faced.

What's The Diehlio
Matt Diehl scored five goals, including the game-winner, and totaled six points against the Mountaineers on March 31. Diehl marked career-highs in both goals and points in the victory, which featured four goals in the second half to help QU pull away for the win.

NEC's Best Of The Week
Matt Diehl and Chris Coppolecchia were awarded weekly honors by the Northeast Conference, announced on Monday, April 2, 2012 by the league office. Diehl earned his first career NEC Player/Rookie of the Week accolade, while Coppolecchia was tabbed the NEC Defensive Player of the Week.

Fitting In Nicely
Freshman Michael Sagl was named the Quinnipiac's Athlete of the Month for the month of March, announced Wednesday, April 14, 2012. Michael Sagl was tremendous offensively for the Bobcats this past month, leading the team in several statistical categories. He netted a team-best 13 goals and handed out seven assists for a team-leading total of 20 points.  Sagl registered a goal in each of his seven outings for the month, including two, four-goal games against Detroit Mercy and Binghamton.

Tremendous Tandem
Brandon Kuring and Daniel Webster each scored four goals against Hartford on Mar. 17. Kuring, who entered the game with one goal to his name, was tremendous adding two assists for a six-point outing. Webster continued his early season success with five groundballs to go along with his four points.

Impactful Freshmen
The Bobcats have started five or more freshmen in their first eight games this season, the most in the Northeast Conference. Several have made an immediate impact both offensively and defensively for QU.

Another Hat Trick For Webster
Dylan Webster's tally in the fourth quarter against Saint Joseph's on Mar. 13 granted the sophomore attackman his second hat trick of the season. Webster opened the Bobcats' scoring column 7:08 seconds into the game, scored his second goal 3:58 seconds into the second frame and completed the trick early on in the last stanza.

NEC Rookie Of The Week
Freshman Michael Sagl was tabbed the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week, announced on Monday, March 12, 2012 by the league office. Sagl had the hot stick for the Bobcats last week, as the West Islip, N.Y. native scored five times and handed out three assists in two home games. Against now No. 13 nationally ranked Fairfield, Sagl assisted on his team's first goal in the opening quarter before striking late in the fourth during a comeback attempt that fell short, 9-6. He then reeled off a career-high four goals – all in the second half - and picked up two assists in a 13-10 loss to Detroit Mercy.

Way To Go Webster
2011 All-Rookie Team honoree Dylan Webster scored a career-high four goals against No. 17 nationally ranked Fairfield on March 7. The sophomore attackman from Brampton, Ontario netted a goal in each quarter, including a game-tying tally three minutes into the second frame.

First-Quarter Trick
Basil Kostaras netted a natural hat trick in the first quarter against Brown on Feb. 26. The junior midfielder put the Bobcats in front just four minutes into the game, followed with his second goal of the game two minutes later and completed the trick with 2:46 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Kostaras also added an assist on the afternoon.

The Captains
With such a talented group full of youth, Quinnipiac will be heavily reliant on its veteran leadership. Captains Chris Coppolecchia, Jay Binkowski and Basil Kostaras will be called upon to lead a corps of inexperience in their quest for another Championship run.

Some New Faces
When asked about the 2012 season, Head Coach Erik Fekete always references the team's youth as his first obstacle. The Bobcats welcome 22 new faces to the program this year, a figure that includes 20 freshmen. In their first scrimmage, Fekete had eight newcomers on the pitch for the sound of the opening whistle.

Up Next
With a win of Friday, Quinnipiac would return to the turf on Sunday, May 6 with the Finals of the NEC Tournament. Faceoff would be Sunday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium. For all the latest news, scorers and highlights pertaining to the Quinnipiac Men's Lacrosse Program, please visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu