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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #66 Bryant Bulldogs

The Bulldogs lost four games by one goal in the final two months of the season.

Gretchen McMahon/Bryant Athletics

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review!

#66 Bryant Bulldogs

Conference: NEC
2019 Record: 3-11 (1-5 in NEC)
Head coach: Mike Pressler (13th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Marc O’Rourke (32)
Assists: Marc O’Rourke (21)
Points: Marc O’Rourke (53)
Faceoffs: Jack Aigner (99-of-179; 55.3%)
Ground balls: Jack Aigner (47)
Caused turnovers: Jack Horan (13)
Goals against average: Luke Caracciolo (9.66 GAA)
Save percentage: Luke Caracciolo (56.9%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: M Kevin Quigley (5 Gs, 2 As, 20 GBs, 2 CTs), G Kevin Beimfohr (13.50 GAA, 48.1% SV %, 7 GBs), SSDM Will Hamernick (4 CTs, 12 GBs), A Ryan Cerino (10 Gs), A Luke Finneran (4 Gs, 2 As, 7 GBs, 1 CT)
Senior scoring departing: 23 of 193 points (11.9%)
Senior starts lost: 17 of 140 (12.1%)

Season Summary

2019 was a season that was not up to Bryant standards. This was their first under-.500 record since the 2015 season and their worst season in program history when they were founded in 2000. Which is saying a lot about how well Bryant has been as a program.

One reason for their struggles was with injuries. The Bulldogs lost starting attackmen Logan McGovern and Pat Brosnan along with long stick midfielder Jake Fiske to season-ending injuries within the first month of the season. Overall, 28 Bryant players made at least one start throughout the season.

In their season-opener against Bucknell, the Bison got on a 4-0 run to start the second half that eventually was the difference maker in Bryant’s first loss of the season. The Bulldogs then defeated Providence and hung on to beat Dartmouth before falling to Boston University to end the month at 2-2.

But the final two months were not too kind for the team, especially their next three games against Manhattan, Stony Brook, and Fairfield. They lost all three of those games by one goal, with the Fairfield loss coming in overtime. Bryant blew a fourth quarter lead against Manhattan, allowed a late game-winning goal against Stony Brook, and a late game-tying goal against Fairfield before the Stags ended things in the extra session. The Bulldogs won one game for the remainder of the season, which came against Wagner thanks to a second half shutout.

Conference play came around and the thought was Bryant would contend for a spot in the NEC Tournament. To the surprise of many, they didn’t. It began in their conference opener against Mount St. Mary’s where the team gave up the game’s final three goals to Mount St. Mary’s in a 10-7 defeat. The Bulldogs also gave way to Sacred Heart as the Pioneers scored six goals in the third quarter en route to a win. And as Bryant had a one-goal lead with 5:50 left against Hobart, the Statesmen came back to win with two goals in that span.

While Bryant’s scoring defense remained 28th nationally despite allowing one more goal on average than they did a year ago (presumably because of the new shot clock), the Bulldog offense went from 21st with an 11.33 goals per game mark to 65th with a 9.07 goals per game average. Marc O’Rourke led the Bryant offense, with Trevor Weingarten finishing second in points with 34. He did start out slow with three scoreless games before coming around in April with seven goals and nine assists in four games. Mason Balch and Austin Kent were also contributors on offense.

Looking Ahead

Bryant doesn’t lose a ton from last season. The returns of McGovern, Brosnan, and Fiske should definitely help the program. Goaltender Luke Caracciolo also missed the last four games of the season due to injury, but finished leading all freshmen in goals against average and save percentage. He also ranked in the top 10 overall in both categories.

O’Rourke is perhaps the best returning player in the NEC as a two-time first-team All-NEC selection. And he’ll only be a junior, which definitely puts a smile on Mike Pressler’s face.

2019 was a little unusual for the program, but if the Bulldogs can avoid the injury bug and continue to play Bryant lacrosse, there’s no doubt they should return to the NEC Tournament and perhaps even the NCAA Tournament. But they’ll have some company with Robert Morris, Hobart, Sacred Heart, Mount St. Mary’s, and perhaps even LIU contending for a conference crown as well.

Poll

How many wins will Bryant get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    0-4
    (5 votes)
  • 29%
    5-6
    (17 votes)
  • 42%
    7-8
    (24 votes)
  • 19%
    9+
    (11 votes)
57 votes total Vote Now