Published 06/14/13

Exciting season caps Bryant’s first year with full Division 1 eligibility for postseason play

Excerpted from the Summer 2013 edition of Bryant magazine

This fabulous year of athletics — the first year that Bryant teams were fully eligible for postseason play at the Division I level — ended with some impressive statistics:

  • 1 Rhode Island Team of the Year
  • 1 NEC Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2 NEC Tournament MVPs
  • 2 Rhode Island Coaches of the Year
  • 3 All-NEC Third team selections
  • 4 NEC Coaches of the Year
  • 4 NEC Players of the Year
  • 5 All-NEC Rookie Team selections
  • 5 NEC Rookies of the Year
  • 6 All-Americans
  • 29 All-NEC Second Team selections
  • 41 All-NEC First Team selections
  • 47 student-athletes on this winter’s NEC Academic Honor Roll

Basketball

Men’s basketball’s “Cinderella season,” ending with the team finishing second in the NEC standings and its selection to compete in the 2013 College Basketball Invitational, was capped with the news that Coach Tim O’Shea was named NEC Coach of the Year, while forward Alex Francis ’14 (Harlem, NY), Dyami Starks ’16 (Duluth, MN) and fifth-year senior Frankie Dobbs (Berea, OH) earned All-League honors. Francis, a First Team All-NEC selection — the first player in school history to earn that distinction — finished among the top five in the league in four categories.

O’Shea also won the Joe Mullaney Award for the Rhode Island Division I Coach of the Year at the 2013 Cox Sports Rhode Island Basketball Media Awards. The men’s program was named the Dave Gavitt Rhode Island Basketball Team of the Year in addition to winning the NEC Team Sportmanship Award for its impeccable character on and off the court.

Women’s basketball also enjoyed a successful season under the guidance of 2013 Rhode Island Division I Coach of the Year Mary Burke. In her 22 nd season at the helm, Burke led Bryant to its first NEC postseason berth in its first season of D-I eligibility.

Led by forward Naana Ankoma-Mensa ’14 (Brampton, Ontario), who earned Second Team All-NEC honors, Bryant closed the regular season with wins in eight of its final 13 games.

Danielle Douglas ’13 (Silver Springs, MD) reached an impressive milestone of her own in February by eclipsing Bryant’s 1,000-point club. She finished her career as the school’s all-time Division I leader in points (1,054), games played (115), games started (100), steals (216), minutes (3,259) and free throws made (428).

Lacrosse

In winning eight of its final 12 games, head Coach Mike Pressler’s team captured the NEC championship for the second straight season and advanced to the Division I NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. The season ended with a historic trip to the famed Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY, where the Bulldogs played top-seed Syracuse in the opening round. Despite holding the lead after the first, the team eventually succumbed, 12-7.

NEC Player of the Year Kevin Massa ’15 (Huntington, NY), set an NCAA single-season record with 231 ground balls, breaking the previous record of 194. Massa also set a single-game record against Syracuse with 22 faceoff wins and finished the regular season with more faceoff victories (312) than any player in NCCA history. Massa was named the Division I New England Player of the Year while teammates Mason Poli ’13 (Downingtown, PA) and Colin Dunster ’15 (Cos Cobb, CT) were First Team All-New England selections by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA).

Baseball

The baseball team set a school record and a Northeast Conference record for wins -- 45-18-1 -- and became the first team in school history to win an NCAA Division I tournament game.

The team, which won three of the last four league championships, won both the regular season and tournament titles in the Northeast Conference. In their NCAA tournament debut, the third-seeded Bulldogs earned a 4-1 win over the second-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks in Bryant’s first-ever NCAA Division I tournament victory. The season ended with a 12-3 loss to the Razorbacks in a follow-up game.

Swimming

Casey Ostrander ’13 (Yarmouthport, MA) finished her Bryant career in style, becoming the first swimmer in school history to earn NEC Swimmer of the Year honors four times.

The Bulldogs set 14 school records in swimming and won three individual gold medals and two relay gold medals at the annual NEC Championships. Eleven Bryant swimmers earned All-Conference honors.

Competing for a postseason championship for the first time in school history in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Bryant’s men’s swimming team placed fifth at the conference tournament with graduate student Alex Kosenski ’12 (Lavallette, NJ) becoming the first Bulldog to win a gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle. Kosenski, the most accomplished swimmer in school history, led a team that broke 13 school records at the MAAC Championships. Kosenski joined Michael Doran ’15 (Westborough, MA) and Jerry Gargano ’15 (Branford, CT) on the MAAC All-Academic Team.

Track and field

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams achieved significant milestones in 2013. Annmarie Tuxbury ’16 (New Hartford, CT) earned NEC All-Rookie Team honors in the 3,000 meters while Erin Svensen ’16 (Medway, MA) qualified in the 5,000 meters. Eimear Black ’14 (Glengormley, Ireland), the 2012 NEC Cross Country Athlete of the Year, set a school record in the 5,000, earning third. Two weeks later, Black broke the school record in the 3,000 at the New England Championships, beating the record set by Tuxbury earlier in the season, and shattered the school record in the 1,000, becoming the first runner in school history to finish in under three minutes.

Conference academic honors

Bryant placed 47 student-athletes on this winter’s NEC Academic Honor Roll. The total list included 577 student-athletes from throughout the conference, all of whom finished with a grade-point average of 3.20 or higher, which was an increase of eight percent from the previous academic year. An additional eight Bryant student-athletes qualified for the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, which is reserved for those who finish with a GPA of 3.75 or higher.