Jameson Love just may be the best goalie you've never heard of.
The junior from Darien, Ct., is a major reason the Bryant Bulldogs are on the fast track to Division I prominence. Love, with the help of his Bulldog defense, led the nation is goals against average in 2010, giving up a little more than six a game. He also finished seventh in the nation with a .587 save percentage.
In the season opener of 2010, Love gave up just five goals to a potent North Carolina offense, a team that averaged nearly 12 a game. Love also made 20 saves that game and was a key reason why the Bulldogs almost pulled off the major upset on that February 13th day. Bryant lost the game 5-4.
With the help of head coach Mike Pressler, don't be surprised if you hear the name Jameson Love and the Bryant Bulldogs a few more times in 2011. Withthe season right around the corner, Love talked with College Crosse about the upcoming season and what it will take for the Bulldogs to break through the Division I ranks.
College Crosse: First off, what has Coach Pressler meant to you and the entire lacrosse program?
Jameson Love: Coach Pressler has been a great role model and mentor for me personally. Each year he sets out not only to make every member of our team a better lacrosse player, but, more importantly, a better man. He is a man of honor, loyalty, and utmost professionalism, and he represents Bryant University by demonstrating those qualities every day. He leads by example, and every member of our lacrosse team follows. Coach Pressler has built Bryant's Lacrosse program from the ground up due to his hard work ethic and tireless effort, which he projects onto our team.
CC: What will it take for the Bryant Bulldogs to take the next step in the D1 level in 2011 and show the nation what you are made of?
JL: We must continue on the same path we have been headed in the last two years as a D1 program. We must continue to demonstrate a tireless work ethic, and never settle, because every day needs to be better than the last.
CC: Talk about the opening game against UNCwhen you came up huge with 20 saves and gave your team a chance to win. What did that game mean to you and your confidence?
JL: During the UNC game our defense was clicking on all cylinders. We played to our strengths and played exactly the way we had prepared. My defense forced the UNC players to settle for bad shots, which made my job a lot easier. Obviously being able to hold an offensive power house like UNC to only five goals was a great confidence booster for myself and my team, but the fact is we still lost.
CC: Give us a quick rundown on the defense in front of you for 2011? Any surprises and/or things we should know?
JL: We are fortunate to return the majority of our defense, but lose two key players in Matt Murnane and Matt McAllister. However, through the fall we have had some players who have stepped up and have filled the roles of those two losses excellently. With those roles being filled our defense is back on track and we work every day to not only match our accomplishments of last year, but to surpass them. We will continue to be a physical, strategically balanced defensive unit who forces every opponent to work for any opportunity.
CC: Talk about the competition in 2011 and who you expect to give you the toughest challenges?
JL: We have a very competitive schedule this year, as always, and every game on the schedule will be an absolute battle. We open up February 16th against St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia and they are our focus right now. At Bryant we treat every game as a championship game, so we take one game at a time and right now our sights are set on St. Joseph’s.