Bryant Men Complete D1 Reclassification
from press release
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – It's official.
Bryant University Director of Athletics Bill Smith received notification this week from the N.C.A.A. confirming that the Bulldog men's lacrosse and field hockey programs have completed their two-year reclassification and now officially belong in the ranks of Division I.
Both programs will be eligible to compete in their respective N.C.A.A. Division I championships beginning this fall, when field hockey opens its 2010 season at Davidson University on August 27. The men's lacrosse team will kick off its season this spring on February 19 at Saint Joseph's.
"I know I speak on behalf of the men's lacrosse and field hockey coaching staffs when I say that we are very excited about the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete for a national championship at the highest level," said Smith.
"Our student-athletes, coaches and staff members have worked hard to get to this point, and while we are still at the midpoint of the transition process for the remaining 20 varsity sports programs, we couldn't be more excited for field hockey and men's lacrosse to become full Division I members."
Field hockey, under the direction third-year coach Shaunessy Saucier, posted seven wins in just its second year of Division I competition in 2009. The Bulldogs went 4-4 in Northeast Conference play, defeating the likes of Robert Morris, Siena, Quinnipiac and Monmouth.
Saucier will welcome back 17 letterwinners in 2010, including leading scorers Courtney Landi (Kingston, N.Y.) and Elise Boissoneau (Ashburnham, Mass.), who combined for 13 goals and 31 points last season.
Men's lacrosse, under the guidance of head coach Mike Pressler, went 12-5 last spring, taking key wins over such opponents as NCAA tournament qualifier Army, 7-6, in West Point, N.Y. and nationally ranked Yale, 9-7, on the road in New Haven, Conn.
A total of nine Bulldogs earned all-conference honors in leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 4-0 record against league opponents, highlighted by NEC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Murnane (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), who would go on to also earn USILA All-America honors. The NEC will add men's lacrosse as a conference sport beginning this spring.
Bryant has recently completed its second year of a four-year reclassification process to full Division I membership. The remaining 20 varsity sports programs will be eligible to compete for NCAA Division I Championships in the fall of 2012.