May 2, 2013

Men's Lacrosse takes on Robert Morris in NEC Semifinals on Thursday at 4 PM

The Northeast Conference Tournament
In search of its second NEC Championship appearance, the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team's (6-7, 3-2 NEC) quest for a bid to the NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Smithfield, R.I. The No. 3 seeded Bobcats will take No. 2 seed Robert Morris University (7-6, 3-2 NEC) at Bulldog Stadium in the NEC Semifinals. The No. 1 seeded Bryant Bulldogs (6-10, 4-1 NEC) and No. 4 seeded Sacred Heart Pioneers (3-10, 3-2 NEC) open the single-elimination playoff at 1 p.m., followed by the Bobcats and Colonials at 4 p.m. 

Tournament Format
The Northeast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship will be held on May 2 & 4, 2013. The top four finishers, based on winning percentage during the Conference's regular season will compete in a two-day, single-elimination tournament.  The high seed hosts the entire event.

Semifinals
Thur. May 2 Semifinal 1: #4 Sacred Heart at #1 Bryant 1:00 pm| Watch Live
   

Semifinal 2: #3 Quinnipiac vs. #2 Robert Morris

4:00 pm| Watch Live
Championship
Sat. May 4 Championship: TBD 1:00 pm| Watch Live


2013 NEC Tournament Schedule
NEC Semifinals
Thursday, May 2, 2013
First Semifinal: #1 Bryant vs. #4 Sacred Heart                1 PM
Second Semifinal: #2 Robert Morris vs. #3 Quinnipiac      4 PM 

NEC Championship
Saturday, May 4, 2013
First Semifinal Winner vs. Second Semifinal Winner          1 PM 

A Postseason Appearance: Nothing New For QU
Quinnipiac is in the postseason for the fifth straight year and in search of its second NEC finals appearance. The Bobcats claimed a share of the NEC Regular Season Title in 2011 and garnered the #2 seed, and followed with a #3 seed last year. 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.  

All-Time Against Robert Morris
Quinnipiac is 2-2 all-time against Robert Morris, but holds a 1-0 mark in NEC Tournament play. The Bobcats defeated the Colonials, 12-11, in the 2011 NEC Semifinals for a spot in the championship game. Quinnipiac has surrendered back-to-back losses to RMU, including a 9-7 defeat last weekend in the regular-season finale.  

Scouting the Colonials
The high-powered Robert Morris offense has them right in the mix of things again in 2013, as the Colonials clinched the second seed in the NEC Tournament. The Colonials picked up conference wins against Wagner, Mount St. Mary's and Quinnipiac to solidify their spot in the single-elimination playoff. RMU is led by Jake Hayes (25g, 10a, 35p) who ranks second in the NEC in scoring this season. Freshman Eric Rankel sits right behind him with 21 goals and 12 assists for 33 points, which puts him in the conversation for Rookie of the Year honors. In the cage, Charles Ruppert saves just over 50 percent of shots faced while posting a 10.65 goals against average. 

All-Time Against Bryant
Quinnipiac is just 1-4 against the Bryant Bulldogs. In their first encounter, Bryant escaped with a 7-6 victory back in 2010 in Hamden. However, Quinnipiac avenged the one-goal loss with a thrilling one-goal win of its own in 2011. Bryant took control of the series with two wins in 2012, which included an 11-6 win in the NEC Semifinals, and then made it three straight with a win in Smithfield back in March. The Bobcats are 1-1 when playing at Bryant. 

Scouting the Bulldogs
Selected as the favorite to win the Northeast Conference in the preseason coaches' poll, the Bulldogs lived up to the hype and claimed the regular season title. However, Bryant boasts a 6-10 mark overall after struggling through its non-conference slate. Bryant's success has come at the faceoff X this season, solely behind Kevin .708 winning percentage and 12.13 ground balls per game – both tops in the nation. Joining Massa on the attack is Shane Morrell, who leads the team with 26 goals and 16 assists for 42 points. Tom Carey will be in net for the Bulldogs after compiling a .545 save percentage and a 9.10 goals against average through the regular season. 

All-Time Against Sacred Heart
In a series that dates back to Quinnipiac's Division II days, the Bobcats and the Pioneers are quite familiar with each other. SHU holds an 8-5 mark against QU since the 1996 season, but the two teams are much more competitive since joining Division I. Quinnipiac is 5-5 against Sacred Heart since 1999 (DI) after evening up the series with a triple overtime win on April 13. 

Scouting the Pioneers
Sacred Heart had a chance to host the 2013 NEC Tournament on the final day of the regular season, but fell short to Bryant and dropped to the No. 4 seed. The Pioneers, 3-10 overall and 3-2 in the league, carry one of the best offenses in the NEC. Led by Matt Gannon and Matt King, SHU sits only behind Robert Morris in goals (11.92) and points (17.31) per game. Gannon leads the NEC in assists per game (2.54), while King is tied for second in goals per game (2.00). Jon Flood will be in net for the Pioneers, posting a .523 save percentage and a 10.80 goals against average through the regular season. 

Sagl Extends Streak
Michael Sagl scored a goal and assisted on another against Robert Morris (4/27) to extend his point streak to 17 straight dating back to last season. Furthermore, he has registered multiple points in 16 of those 17 games. He is leading the team in points (44), goals (22) and assists (22).  

Kind of a Big Diehl
With a goal and an assist against Robert Morris (4/27), Matt Diehl has nine points on five goals and four assists in his last three games. Diehl is fifth on the team in points (23), coming off of 13 goals and 10 assists.

He's Really Good
Gill Conners has 179 saves through 13 games in net for the Bobcats. Conners is sixth in the nation and leads the NEC in saves per game (13.77) and is 15th in the nation and leads the NEC in save percentage (.563). Conners has 10 or more saves in each of QU's conference games, including three with 15 or more. The NEC's top goalie has moved into third place on Quinnipiac's all-time single-season saves list. 

Four-Time NEC Defensive Player of the Week
Gill Conners has been named the NEC Defensive Player of the Week four times throughout the season. Conners picked up his first award in the very first week in the team's win against Brown University. He added another on March 11th; his third on April 8th; and his final one two weeks ago on April 22nd.  

Into The QU Record Books
Basil Kostaras has embedded his name into the career record books at Quinnipiac. Continuing to climb the ladder, Kostaras ranks 14th in goals scored (58), 13th in points (88) and 15th (30) in assists. Kostaras is tied for second in scoring with 18 goals and seven assists for 25 points this season. 

Among The Nation's Best
Dylan Webster finished in a two-way tie for 13th in the country in groundballs per game last season, and is once again among the nation's best in 2013. The junior attackman is averaging over 8.00 groundballs per game, ranking him fourth in the nation. 

Groundball King
Dylan Webster moved into sole possession of second place in career groundballs (225) at Quinnipiac. He also sits in 17th place in goals scored, needing just one more to reach the 50-goal plateau. 

Senior Standout
Brendan Wilbur notched a goal and an assist against the Robert Morris (4/27). He is tied for second on the team in scoring (17 goals, 8 assists, 25 points) and has multiple points in nine games for the Bobcats. 

Giving is Caring
Michael Sagl has 39 career assists, good enough for a tie in eighth place on the all-time list at Quinnipiac. He has 22 this year, which is fourth among NEC players and good enough for top-30 in the nation in assists per game. 

Corky Contributes
Pat Corcoran tallied his third career four-point game with a goal and three assists against Wagner (4/20). Corcoran is tied for second on the team in points (25) with 15 goals and 10 assists.  

Gilligan's Island
Tom Gilligan registered a career high of three points on a goal and two assists against Mount St. Mary's (4/6). Gilligan has six points in his last five games – giving the junior midfielder five goals and five assists on the season.  

Wreaking Havoc
Quinnipiac is tied for 12th in the nation and second in the conference in caused turnovers per game (8.85). This includes a season-high of 14 against Detroit Mercy (3/2).