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thought of [qualifying for the NCAA Tournament] is hard to believe, Pressler told Quint Kessenich on this week ESPNU Lacrosse Podcast. be such a milestone if we were fortunate enough. And you got to remember for our school, this is only our fifth year as a Division I program in 22 spots. I believe there hasn been a team here yet at Bryant to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, so that the dream Nike Vapormax Mens On Feet here for all of us.
Bryant's Midseason Turnaround Underscores Pressler's Road Back to the Tournament
"During [our poor shooting] period, I did research on all the top teams, and it was very obvious we were deficient in those two categories," Pressler says. "I shared that with the guys the data and numbers on other teams and said that was it, we pinpointed our issues. We feel like we corrected it, but we still work at it. A couple of finite things changed. We were taking too many low angle shots, we weren getting to the middle of the field Nike Air Vapormax Navy Blue
his long road back to the NCAA DI Tournament. That road started in May 2005 at Lincoln Financial Field when his Duke Blue Devils lost an NCAA title to Johns Hopkins as the Blue Jays famously ran out the clock on the fast, exciting and surprisingly upstart Duke team. It was his last time in the DI NCAA Tournament. Since then, he been dismissed from Duke amid a false rape scandal, hired by then DII Bryant, guided the Bulldogs to the DII NCAA Tournament and then on to DI, then waited out the NEC two year provisional period before being granted an AQ; now it appears the NEC will be the last conference to observe two year wait.
For Pressler, the winless start must been especially troublesome. Picked to win the NEC and with its AQ, 2013 in January looked like the end of Nike Vapormax Blue And Black
enough. Then we weren getting the ball inside enough. We were top five in the country in shots per game, but close to last in shooting percentage at right around 20%. and correcting issues, improved results. It a good reminder of how sports seasons typically go, and how common a mantra of "constant improvement" is for successful teams.
"[Assistant coach] Casey Broderson deserves the credit. Our wings come in off the wing area and their mindset is that Kevin is not going to win the face off we have to do our job. And if Kevin wins it outright, that a bonus. If it is going to be a scrum, we have to do a great job," Pressler says of the unit. "With Kevin Massa, it not only winning it, it about creating offense. We do things in the substitution game, our possession and the fact that he wins it outright the majority of the time it such a weapon for us. Lacrosse is a game of runs and momentum. If you score, you have a great chance of getting the ball back. And if they score, you have a good chance of limiting their chances."
The possession advantage and the potentially for a hot shooting day could make Bryant a dangerous out in the NCAA Tournament if they can get past the Colonials (who, in their own right, could put a scare into a top seed). Among the Bulldogs close losses two near misses vs. likely tournament teams Bucknell and Albany.
In a few ways, Bryant is a great team. Their struggles must have been even more frustrating than the close losses might belie because the Bulldogs have dominated possession in 2013, second best in DI thanks in large part to their nation best face off win percentage. Sophomore Kevin Massa is among the country most valuable weapons, taking all but three of Bryant face offs this year, winning 70.3%, picking up an NCAA record setting 203 groundballs so far this season, which translates to a 74.7% GB/FOW percentage, a stat that suggests his incredible ability to win the ball to himself. Nike Air Vapormax Plus Triple Grey
"Even during that tough period, morale was great," Pressler says. "We said all along that we had to get the first one, then the next one will be easier. We know we have a good team, but our record in the first seven didn show it."
Bryant is winless when they shoot worse than 26%. They 7 2 when they shoot better than 26%. For coach Mike Pressler, the Bulldogs blueprint for success is that simple.
"Look into the first seven games," Pressler says of his team winless open to the 2013 season. "We lose four by two goals, two or three by one, a couple in overtime. The difference between then and the second half of the season was our shooting our shots on goal percentage and shots in goal.
Don fall into the trap of thinking Massa relies on his talented Mason Poli to do the dirty work, though Pressler explains how the unit has come to complement itself.
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