SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's lacrosse team kicks off the 2020 season for the fourth-straight year in Smithfield on Wednesday, Feb. 12 when the Bulldogs host Quinnipiac.
The Bulldogs welcome back over 60 percent of their scoring from a year ago led by 2019 First Team All-NEC selection Caitlin Breglia (Long Beach, N.Y.). Breglia leads the returners with 31 goals from last season and was also the conference leader in assists with 35. The Long Beach native also ranked 24th in the country as she averaged 2.06 assists per game.
Senior Maggie Pressler (Smithfield, R.I.) accompanies Breglia on the attack as an experienced senior and one of the 2020 captains. Pressler recorded five goals on the year off 13 shots including a career-high of three at Sacred Heart just one year ago. Pressler's strength lies in her passing ability as she posted 25 assists last season ranking fourth among the NEC.
Junior Natalie Langella (Northport, N.Y.) trails Breglia in goals as the second leading goal scorer out of the returning Bulldogs from last season with 26 in just 14 games. Langella is one of three junior attackers accompanied by Caitlin Bolen (Queensbury, N.Y.) and Emma Lindquist (Windham, N.H.). Bolen was a top goal scorer for the Black and Gold posting 19 on the year accompanied by six assists.
After a successful rookie season, NEC All-Rookie Team selection Alexa Weber (South Windsor, Conn.) returns to Smithfield for her sophomore season. Weber ranked third among NEC freshmen last season with 13 goals as she posted three two-goal games on the year. Sophomore Emily Diaz (Selden, N.Y.) rounds out the returners in the attacking unit after appearing in just 11 games due to an injury. In the 11-game span, Diaz racked up 12 points off nine goals and three assists as well as seven ground balls and 10 draw controls.
Bryant's midfield returns five from last season including senior captain Katie Clark (New Fairfield, Conn.). Clark is one of three returners to have started in all 17 games last season as she posted four goals and one assist, as well as scooping 21 ground balls, grabbing seven draw controls, and collecting 16 caused turnovers. She is accompanied by fellow senior, Chachie Smigliani (Hanover, Mass.) who appeared in 13 games and tallied three goals.
The midfield shows a strong junior class returning for the Black and Gold as Megan McCarthy (Northampton, Mass.) leads the returning midfielders with 22 ground balls and Devon Bolen (Queensbury, N.Y.) leads all returners with 40 draw controls. Junior Abbi England (Longford Mills, Ontario) also returns after a strong sophomore season of eight goals in 16 games.
The midfield and attacking units welcome seven new faces to the lineup with six true freshmen and one transfer sophomore from Manhattan. Sophomore Cassidy Burns (Massapequa, N.Y.) joins Bryant after a standout rookie season for the Jaspers. Burns earned MAAC Rookie of the Year honors as she tallied 15 goals and 25 assists ranking her third all-time at Manhattan for more assists in a single season. The New York native is accompanied by Margaret Adams (Mattapoisett, Mass.), Sophie Glassman (Delmar, N.Y.), Madison Henry (Broomall, Pa.), Alleigh Kempf (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Emily Oliver (Feeding Hills, Mass.), and Skylar Simmonds (Jupiter, Fla.) as newcomers to the Bryant offense.
On the defensive side of the field, the Bulldogs are led by All-Rookie Team selection Giana Kapoosuzian (Merrick, N.Y. ) who led the Black and Gold between the pipes last season. Kapoosuzian started in all but one game for the Bulldogs racking up a save percentage of .494 against conference foes in the regular season. She posted nine games of double-digit saves including 18 vs. Central Connecticut and 17 at Jacksonville.
The defensive unit features senior leadership from Olivia Greene (Hollis, N.H.), Gabriella Henry (Massapequa, N.Y.), and Kelly Jacobsen (Northport, N.Y.). Jacobsen started in all 17 games, recording 15 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.
Junior Jamie Fischer (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) is Bryant's leading defensive returner in ground balls with 20 and returns alongside junior Shea Farrell (Westwood, Mass.). Farrell saw action in all 17 games and accumulated five ground balls and six caused turnovers. The Massachusetts native also netted her first career goal last season in Bryant's win at Saint Francis U.
The Bulldogs kick off the season at home for the fourth-straight season when they host Quinnipiac on Wednesday, Feb. 12. at 3 p.m. in Beirne Stadium. The season opener is the first of three-straight home games for the Black and Gold before they hit the road for four-game road stretch.