Lacrosse will be a major topic of discussion amongst Bulldog fans this weekend. Mike Pressler’s men’s team is out to defend its 2013 conference crown down in Philadelphia, while Jill DePetris-Batcheller and her team host the NEC Women’s Lacrosse Tournament in Smithfield. With its wire-to-wire win over No. 3 Sacred Heart on Thursday night, Bryant advanced to the NEC Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game and is one win away from securing the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The men will face off against No. 4 Hobart on Saturday at 1:00 pm in a contest that will air live on NEC Front Row. Meanwhile, the women open tournament play on Friday evening with a semifinal match against No. 4 Central Connecticut. Should they prevail, they will play for all of the marbles on Sunday at 1:00 pm. Read more.
Eric Blake’s Blue Devils hold the top seed in a number of events heading into the 2014 NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will unfold on May 3-4 at the RMU Island Sports Center in Coraopolis, PA. On the men’s side, Craig Hunt owns the league’s fastest times in the 5K and 10K while his distance teammate Brian Biekert is the pre-meet favorite in the 1500m run and 3000m steeple chase. Junior Ronea Saunders will look to reclaim her 2012 women’s high jump title after coming up short of a second gold medal last May. Read more.
The Knights are on the cusp of clinching their first-ever berth into the NEC Softball Tournament field. FDU (7-5) sits in third place in the conference standings with four regular season games remaining, but is only percentage points ahead of fourth-place LIU Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Saint Francis U (6-6), a team that the Knights will face on May 3, stands fifth and is currently on the “outside looking in” as only four teams qualify for the postseason event. FDU’s four-game weekend swing through the Keystone State will determine its postseason fate. Read more.
They achieved NEC supremacy back in February, but can they do it again? After capturing the men’s team title at the 2014 NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships this past winter, the Blackbirds look to repeat the feat outdoors. Sprinters Brendon Rodney and Alistar McLean were driving forces behind LIU’s indoor crown and have the potential to pile up points this weekend at Robert Morris. The former is the top seed in the 100m and 200m dashes, while the McLean owns the third-fastest seed times in both the 200m and 400m. Read more.
Mount St. Mary’s
The Mount St. Mary’s women’s lacrosse team was well represented on the 2014 All-Northeast Conference Teams with four honorees. Senior Gabe Little earned First Team All-NEC for the second-consecutive season, while seniors Lindsay Diaz and Lily O’Beirne took Second Team honors and freshman Sammie Knapp earned a place on the All-Rookie Team. Read more.
For the first time since 2008, the NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships will unfold at the RMU Island Sports Center in Coraopolis, PA. Michael Smith and the Colonials will host the two-day meet where two team champions and 42 individual champions will be crowned. RMU senior Chris Carper will have the opportunity to wow the hometown crowd. The javelin thrower is the top seed in his signature event and owns the ninth-best mark in NCAA Division I. Read more.
The final two teams left standing at last year’s NEC Baseball Tournament meet again for the first time since last spring. Sacred Heart visits defending NEC champion Bryant for a four-game series in Smithfield. The Pioneers (7-5) entered the weekend in second place in the NEC standings, four full games behind the first-place Bulldogs. That gap widened to five games after Bryant posted a 5-4 victory in Friday’s series opener. The two teams are scheduled for two 7-inning games on Saturday followed by a 9-inning finale on Sunday. Read more.
The Red Flash are in search of a repeat. Playing some of its best golf of late, Saint Francis is defending its NEC men’s golf team title at LPGA International in Daytona Beach. Read more.
St. Francis Brooklyn
Two women’s basketball players received recognition for their accomplishments off the court. Forward Jaymee Veney and guard Sarah Benedetti gained induction into the Duns Scotus Society. Election to membership in the Society is based on scholastic standing, participation in extracurricular activities, evidence of loyalty to the ideals of St. Francis College and demonstration of a true Franciscan spirit. Read more.
The Seahawks are playing postseason women’s lacrosse for the first time in nine years. Under the direction of first-year head coach Liz Frisoli, Wagner has earned the No. 2 seed in this weekend’s NEC Tournament. The Seahawks face No. 3 Robert Morris in a semifinal match on Friday night in Smithfield, RI. Read more.