Somerset, NJ -- Men’s lacrosse teams from the Northeast Conference have had a strong presence in the NCAA Statistical Rankings this season and it was no different this week with at least one NEC team or individual ranked in the top-10 of 21 of the 24 categories listed in the Apr. 15 rendition.
Bryant, ranked 19th in both the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Coaches’ Poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse.com Media Poll, led the group by being mentioned in the top-10 10 times, including twice as the national leader.
The Bulldogs placed first in faceoff win percentage (.648) and ground balls per game (37.69) thanks to the talents of seven-time NEC Rookie of the Week Kevin Massa (Huntington, NY/Elwood John Glenn), who also accounted for two of Bryant’s other top-10 mentions. Massa’s league-leading 8.08 ground balls per game placed him second nationally in the individual category, while his .646 faceoff win percentage earned him the No. 4 spot. He has taken 285 of his team’s 287 faceoffs attempted this season, winning 184 of them.
Just like his freshman teammate, senior goalkeeper Jameson Love (Darien, CT/Darien) also boasted a few upper echelon figures, placing third in save percentage (.614), fourth in saves per game (12.0) and ninth in goals against average (7.45).
Under the direction of head coach Mike Pressler, Bryant ranked fifth in team winning percentage (.846), eighth in scoring defense (7.62) and saves per game (12.0), and 10th in scoring margin (3.62) and caused turnovers per game (8.62).
Robert Morris, another team being recognized on the national stage after garnering votes in several polls this season, was ranked in the top-10 six times, twice in the No. 1 spot.
The Colonials’ offense, which ranked first in several categories at the end of last season, hasn’t missed a beat in 2012, ranking first in points per game (22.5) and assists per game (9.0). It also placed second in scoring offense, averaging 13.5 goals per game, and third in shooting percentage (.340).
Senior Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario/Saltfleet), who leads RMU and the NEC in scoring with 48 points, placed 10th in points per game among the 200 players ranked. Junior Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta/Central Memorial) was the other Colonial individual to be ranked, earning the No. 5 spot in shooting percentage (.542).
Quinnipiac was mostly noted for its defense, being ranked third in man-down defense (.821) and having the top caused turnover producer in the nation in senior Chris Coppolecchia (Somers, NY/Somers), who averages 3.36 CTs per game. Offensively, Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario/St. Edmund Campion S.S.) was recognized for having the eighth-best shooting percentage at .513.
Sacred Heart’s Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ontario/Nouvelle-Alliance) had the top shooting percentage among NEC players ranked, placing fourth at .561, while teammate and sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Hughes (Bayport, NY/Bayport-Blue Point) landed eighth in saves per game with an 11.3 average.
This week’s NEC Defensive Player of the Week, Nicholas Gibaldi (Rocky Point, NY/Rocky Point), from Wagner helped both his team and himself move up in the rankings, as his 20-save effort from Saturday’s game against the Pioneers placed him second in the country at 13.17 stops per game and his team at third at 13.42.
As a team, Mount St. Mary’s completed the list of top-10 mentions by being recognized for committing the eighth-fewest turnovers in the country (13.5).
For a complete list of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Statistical Leaders, please click here.