NEC Offensive Player of the Week/NEC Co-Rookie of the Week
Matt Diehl, Quinnipiac
Fr., M, Towson, MD/Calvert Hall
Quinnipiac’s Matt Diehl scored five goals, including the game-winner, and totaled six points as the Bobcats topped defending league champion and preseason favorite Mount St. Mary’s, 12-8, in a rematch of last year’s title game. This week’s NEC Offensive Player of the Week and Co-Rookie of the Week, Diehl marked career-highs in both goals and points in the victory. More importantly, though, four of his five goals came in the second half and helped QU pull away for the win. He has now scored at least one goal and tallied two or more points in his last four games, a stretch in which the Bobcats have gone 2-2 as a team.
NEC Defensive Player of the Week
Chris Coppolecchia, Quinnipiac
Sr., D, Somers, NY/Somers
Quinnipiac senior defenseman Chris Coppolecchia caused five turnovers and scooped up eight ground balls as the Bobcats defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 12-8, on the road last weekend. In a rematch of last year’s NEC Title game, the Somers, NY product played a major role on the defensive front, holding the Mount to nearly two goals below its season scoring average and producing four of his five takeaways in the second half. Thanks to his performance, Coppolecchia now owns the league lead in caused turnovers with 21.
NEC Co-Rookie of the Week
Kevin Massa, Bryant
Fr., M, Huntington, NY/Elwood John Glenn
Bryant’s Kevin Massa continued to remain red hot last week. The now five-time NEC Rookie of the Week won 57.9% of his faceoffs taken and scored his first collegiate goal as the Bulldogs defeated Providence 9-4 and Sacred Heart 11-8. He went 9 of 17 and scooped up four ground balls at Providence before winning 13 of his 21 attempts with 11 GBs at home against Sacred Heart. He also got in on the offense against the Pioneers, scoring the eventual game-winner as part of a two-point performance. Massa currently ranks first in the NEC in faceoff wins (122), faceoff winning percentage (.629), ground balls (72) and ground balls per game (8.00).
NEC WEEKLY WRAP-UP
Northeast Conference action opened up this past weekend with all six teams in action. Bryant won its sixth in a row with an 11-8 win over Sacred Heart to cap off a 2-0 week. Robert Morris let the offense run wild, downing Wagner by a score of 22-10. And down in Maryland, Quinnipiac extracted its revenge over Mount St. Mary’s, defeating the host Mountaineers, 12-8, in a rematch of last year’s NEC title game.
Looking around the league, Bryant was rewarded mightily after stretching its winning streak to six games, becoming just the second NEC team in league history to earn national recognition in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Top-20 Poll by debuting at No. 19. Robert Morris became the first team to earn a national ranking last season, breaking into the USILA poll at No. 20. The accolades did not stop there for the boys from Smithfield, RI, as the Bulldogs entered the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll at No. 20 as well.
In its two games last week, Bryant looked impressive, especially with NEC Co-Rookie of the Week Kevin Massa (Huntingdon, NY/Elwood John Glenn) wheeling and dealing at the faceoff X. The league leader in faceoff winning percentage (.629), faceoff wins (122) and ground balls (72), Massa won 22 of his 38 attempts taken during the week and snatched up 15 ground balls. He even got involved in the offense, scoring his first collegiate goal – the eventual game-winner – in his team’s 11-8 win over Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Moving out west, Robert Morris capped off a 2-0 week as well, taking a 15-11 decision against MAAC foe Canisius and opening NEC play with a 22-10 win over Wagner. The RMU offense definitely had a Canadian flavor to it during the stretch, as redshirt junior Dave Morton (Orangeville, Ontario/Hill School) and classmate Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta/Central Memorial) combined for 13 goals and 22 points. Senior Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, Ontario/John McCrae) etched his name into the RMU record books by becoming the program’s all-time assist leader (61) with a second-quarter helper against Wagner.
Down in Maryland, Quinnipiac never trailed in its win over Mount St. Mary’s, earning a 12-8 victory in a rematch of last year’s title game thanks to the scoring tactics of NEC Offensive Player of the Week Matt Diehl (Towson, MD/Calvert Hall) and NEC Defensive Player of the Week Chris Coppolecchia (Somers, NY/Somers) playing takeaway. Diehl scored a career-high five goals and totaled six points while running his scoring streak to four games. Four of his five scores came in the second half, including his game-winner that put the Bobcats up 9-5 at the time. Coppolecchia patrolled the backfield, scooping up eight ground balls and causing five turnovers, four of which came during the third and fourth quarters.
Speaking of the Mount, one streak extended while another was put on hold in the loss to Quinnipiac. Senior attackman Brett Schmidt (Great Mills, MD/St. Mary’s Ryken) extended his goal-scoring streak to 21 games after finding the back of the net against the Bobcats. Meanwhile, head coach Tom Gravante will have to wait another week to tie the record for most wins in Emmitsburg as he currently stands at 119, just one win shy of Randy Kilgore’s record of 120.
Despite dropping its second straight game, Sacred Heart saw its second-year goalkeeper continue to excel. Ryan Hughes (Bayport, NY/Bayport-Blue Point) stretched his streak of games with double-digit saves to seven after stopping 14 shots in the loss to the Bulldogs. He now has 85 since taking over the reins earlier this season.
Rounding out the week, the Wagner Seahawks put up a couple of hat tricks in their loss to the Colonials, with senior midfielder William Hedges (Shoreham, NY/ Longwood) and junior midfielder Colin O’Rourke (Worcester, MA/ St. John’s Shrewsbury) netting three goals apiece. O’Rourke currently leads the team with 19 points on 17 goals and two assists.
All six teams will be back in action this weekend. Mount St. Mary’s tangles with Bryant in Smithfield, RI, Robert Morris faces off with Sacred Heart in Fairfield, CT, and Quinnipiac hosts Wagner in Hamden, CT. All three games are set for Saturday, Apr. 7. Bryant and Wagner will have a pair of non-conference matchups prior, with the Bulldogs traveling to Brown and the Seahawks visiting Manhattan.
#19/20 Bryant (7-2, 1-0 NEC)
Last Week’s Opponents: Mar. 27 at Providence W, 9-4; Mar. 31 vs. Sacred Heart W, 11-8
This Week’s Opponents: Apr. 3 at Brown; Apr. 7 vs. Mount St. Mary’s
• The Bulldogs extended their winning streak to six-straight games with a pair of victories, taking a 9-4 win over intrastate rival Providence College on the road Tuesday night and opening up 2012 conference play with an 11-8 win over Sacred Heart Saturday afternoon.
• Bryant also stayed a perfect 5-0 at home in 2012 with Saturday’s victory and remained perfect in the all-time series against both of this week’s opponents (3-0 against PC; 4-0 all-time against Sacred Heart).
• With the victories, Bryant moved to 7-2 on the season and earned a spot in the national rankings for the first time as a Division I member. The Bulldogs debuted at No. 19 in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the most recent Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, as announced Monday.
Mount St. Mary's (3-5, 0-1 NEC)
Last Week’s Opponent: Mar. 31 vs. Quinnipiac L, 12-8
This Week’s Opponent: Apr. 7 at Bryant
• The Mount was stopped by Quinnipiac, 12-8, in the Northeast Conference opener on Saturday in a rematch of last year’s NEC Championship game.
• Bryant Schmidt (Great Mills, MD/St. Mary’s Ryken) scored a team-high three goals for the Mount in the loss. It was his fourth hat trick of the season and he is now second on the team with 16 goals.
• Brett Schmidt (Great Mills, Md./St. Mary’s Ryken) was held to one goal against the Bobcats. It was the first time this season he has not scored more than one goal in a game. Schmidt did extend his consecutive games streak with scoring at least one goal to 20.
• Andrew Scalley (Arnold, MD/Archbishop Spaulding) had two goals and an assist and is now second on the team with 23 points. He has tallied four goals and six assists over the past two games.
Quinnipiac (2-6, 0-1 NEC)
Last Week’s Opponent: Mar. 31 at Mount St. Mary’s W, 12-8
This Week’s Opponent: Apr. 7 vs. Wagner
• Freshman Matt Diehl (Towson, MD/Calvert Hall) led a potent Bobcats’ offense with five goals on Saturday afternoon, as the QU men’s lacrosse team (2-6, 1-0 NEC) upended the NEC’s preseason favorite Mount St. Mary’s (3-5, 0-1 NEC), 12-8, at Waldron Family Stadium. QU’s attack was absolutely stellar on a misty day in Emmitsburg, putting 16 of their 22 shots on target and controlling 14 of 24 face-offs.
• Defensively, Dylan Torey (Darien, CT/Darien) came up big on several occasions to consistently keep the Bobcats in front. He registered 10 saves in the game, opposed to four from his counterpart.
• In addition to Torey, senior Chris Coppolecchia (Somers, NY/Somers) caused five turnovers and collected eight groundballs in the game. QU’s defense held MSM’s leading scorer, Brett Schmidt, to just one goal on seven shots.
Robert Morris (7-3, 1-0 NEC)
Last Week’s Opponent: Mar. 27 vs. Canisius W, 15-11; Mar. 31 at Wagner W, 22-10
This Week’s Opponent: Apr. 7 at Sacred Heart
• Redshirt junior Dave Morton (Orangeville, Ontario/Hill School) tallied five assists and eight points, tying two single-game school records, to lead Robert Morris to a 22-10 win of host Wagner in its league opener this past Saturday.
• Morton’s five assists were part of a larger team effort that saw Robert Morris shatter its previous record for team assists in a game as RMU posted 19 helpers on its 22 goals to surpass its previous top single-game effort by five assists.
• Senior Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, Ontario/John McCrae) provided a second-quarter helper Saturday to break Robert Morris’ career assist record and finished the day with a new program-best 63.
• The Colonials also posted some notable numbers in other categories as they collected 51 ground balls, the second-most in a single game and their highest mark ever in a conference game
Sacred Heart (3-6, 0-1 NEC)
Last Week’s Opponent: Mar. 31 at Bryant L, 11-8
This Week’s Opponent: Apr. 7 vs. Robert Morris
• Sophomore Ryan Hughes (Bayport, NY/Bayport-Blue Point) was exceptional again in goal for Sacred Heart, stopping 14 Bryant shots to stretch his streak of double-digit saves to seven games.
• Aaron Lupo (Schenectady, NY/ Schenectady) led SHU in scoring, netting two goals against the Bulldogs.
• The Pioneers landed 63% of their shots on goal, finishing the day 19 of 30 in shots.
• Sacred Heart used a balanced attack in its NEC opener, as seven players combined for eight goals.
Wagner (0-9, 0-1 NEC)
Last Week’s Opponent: Mar. 31 vs. Robert Morris L, 22-10
This Week’s Opponents: Apr. 3 at Manhattan; Apr. 7 at Quinnipiac
• Wagner showed moments of offensive flair in its NEC opener at home vs. Robert Morris on March 31 but the Seahawks could not keep up with the Colonials’ fast-paced, run and gun style in dropping a 22-10 decision.
• Senior midfielder William Hedges (Shoreham, NY/Longwood) and junior midfielder Colin O’Rourke (Worcester, MA/ St. John’s Shrewsbury) each recorded hat tricks for the Seahawks vs. Robert Morris.
• O’Rourke paces Wagner in scoring with 19 points on 17 goals and two assists while fellow junior midfielder Nick DePhillips (Glen Ridge, NJ/ Glen Ridge) checks in with 17 points on 16 goals and one assist. Senior attackman Mike Hurley (Billerica, MA/ Billerica) is the third Seahawk who has hit for double-digits in scoring with 15 points on seven goals and a team-high eight assists.