December 10, 2013

Bryant Women Announce Schedule, Captains for 2014

from Press Release

Full Schedule at Bryant's Website

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Head coach Jill DePetris is pleased to announce the 2014 Bryant University women's lacrosse schedule and team captains, as the Bulldogs prepare for a return trip to the postseason this spring.

The Bulldogs will play in front of the home crowd in Smithfield five times in 2014, with four of those contests coming in the month of April. The team will open at the Bryant Turf Complex against a tough University at Albany side on Feb. 21 before spending the month of March on the highways.

"One great thing about this season's schedule is that we are going to all the hotbeds of lacrosse – New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland – and when we go there, we are facing off against strong opponents," said DePetris. "We put this schedule together in a manner that allowed us to not only play top-notch competition, but also give our program exposure outside of New England in areas known for their lacrosse."

The Bulldogs will kick off the 2014 campaign with road games against regional foe Holy Cross (Feb. 13) and Siena (Feb. 18). After opening at the Bryant Turf Complex against the Great Danes to close out February action, Bryant will play the first of five-straight contests in less-friendly territory on Saturday, March 1 against Manhattan College.

From there, Bryant heads to New Haven, Conn., for a mid-week battle against Yale before traveling to the Keystone State for a pair of Spring Break games against first-time Patriot League foes Lehigh University (March 10) and Lafayette College (March 12).

Bryant returns from Spring Break to face another regional opponent in former conference-mate Quinnipiac (March 19) to cap off the road stretch. But the team's homecoming will come against arguably the toughest of opponents – intrastate rival Brown on Tuesday, April 1.

"We've added two top-quality new opponents this season in Lehigh and Lafayette," said DePetris. "Those two additions, particularly when complimented by our other tough regional matchups such as Yale and Brown, really take our out-of-conference schedule to the next level."

Following the in-state tussle, the Bulldogs plunge headfirst into their Northeast Conference slate, beginning with an opening weekend twinbill at Wagner (April 4) and at Mount St. Mary's (April 6). From there, Bryant returns home for its only consecutive contests in front of the home crowd, hosting Robert Morris (April 11) and Saint Francis University (April 13) at the Turf Complex.

The Black and Gold head to Central Connecticut Friday, April 18 and wrap up road play a week later at LIU Brooklyn on April 25. The Bulldogs will close out regular-season action at home against Sacred Heart on Sunday, April 27.

"We surprised some people with our in-conference success last season," said DePetris, "but this is a new year, and the whole team is focused on proving ourselves once again in what remains a challenging Northeast Conference."

The Northeast Conference Tournament is slated for May 2 and 4 at the site of the highest seed.

The Bulldogs hope to make it back to the postseason in just the program's second year of eligibility and will be led in that drive by a trio of senior captains. Repeat captain Lindsay Langella (Northport, N.Y.) will be joined by classmates Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.) and Katherine Keckeisen (Danbury, Conn.) in guiding the 2014 squad, with loads of senior leadership behind them in support.

"All nine of our seniors are truly great leaders who bring tons of experience and energy on and off the field," said DePetris, "so from our three elected captains all the way through our senior class, we will have strength and support at every position and in every facet of our game."

Langella, a two-time captain and two-year starting defender for the Black and Gold, returns in 2014 to anchor the Bulldog backline after starting all 18 contests as a junior. She picked up 17 ground balls in 2013 and caused 11 turnovers.

After compiling an 10-8 overall record and leading the Bulldogs to the No. 2 seed in the NEC Tournament last season, Watt returns to the cage as a senior in 2014. Watt also started all 18 contests as a junior, posting a 9.06 goals against average and .432 save percentage while being selected to the NEC All-Tournament Team.

A three-year starter in the midfield who hasn't missed a single contest in three years donning the Black and Gold, Keckeisen enters the 2014 season ranked in the program's top-10 in draw controls (70), draw controls per game (1.40) and free-position goals (19), with 65-career tallies and 75-career points also to her name. As a junior in 2013, Keckeisen finished fifth on the team with 22 points off 17 goals and five assists, registering 14 of those 22 points against NEC opponents.

"All three captains bring something unique to our leadership," said DePetris. "Langella is our communicator, Watt brings so much composure to our game, and Keckeisen brings a sense of urgency to practices and competition. These three together bring a contagious energy and a belief to our team in such a pivotal year for our program."

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