May 4, 2014
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - MAAC Champion Siena Lacrosse will travel to Northeast Conference Champion Bryant for an NCAA play-in game Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Smithfield, R.I. The winner will advance to face No. 2 seed Syracuse in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at the Carrier Dome at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
"We're extremely excited," said head coach John Svec. "We didn't know how things were going to fall (with the new NCAA Tournament format), but the fact that we get to practice tomorrow is the most important thing. Bryant is a great team and Coach Pressler has done a great job since he's been there. They gave Syracuse a great game last year (in the NCAA Tournament) and we've got our work cut out for us."
Siena earned the MAAC's automatic qualifier after capturing the program's third conference championship in the past six years with Saturday's 11-7 win at Marist in the conference title game. The 11-5 Saints have made two previous trips to the NCAA Tournament, dropping First Round games at Syracuse in both 2009 and 2011.
Ranked 20th nationally this week in both the USILA Coaches' Poll and Warrior Media Poll, Bryant is 14-4 overall after capturing their third straight NEC Championship. The Bulldogs boast three wins over nationally ranked opponents and a perfect 3-0 record against teams in the NCAA Tournament field with victories over Albany, Drexel and Richmond.
Wednesday's game will mark the first-ever men's lacrosse meeting between Siena and Bryant. The Saints have lost all three previous meetings with Syracuse including a 19-7 setback in the season opener Feb. 10 at the Carrier Dome. Eleven-time national champions, the Orange are 11-4 overall and were ranked third in this week's USILA Coaches' Poll and fourth in the Warrior Media Poll.
Battle tested road warriors, Wednesday's game will be the Saints' NCAA-leading 12th true road game this season out of 17 games. Siena's seven road wins are tied with Drexel for the most nationally.
"We're really excited for the opportunity," added MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and red-shirt junior captain Richie Hurley. "Bryant is a great team. They've been a program on the rise the past couple of years. We're looking forward to the opportunity to play on the national stage again."