Bryant's men's lacrosse team is one step closer to winning the Northeast Conference's first automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament after knocking off Sacred Heart, 11-9, on Thursday in Providence, R.I.
For the Bulldogs, one of the more impressive turnarounds is nearly complete after the preseason NEC favorite started 0-7, losing six of those games by one or two goals, including two near misses vs. likely tournament teams Bucknell and Albany.
For coach Mike Pressler, it's nearly the end of a road that started in May 2005 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, where his Duke team lost in the NCAA championship to Johns Hopkins. That was Pressler's last appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament.
Since then, he's been dismissed from Duke amid false rape allegations, hired by then- Division II Bryant, guided the Bulldogs to Division I and waited out the NEC's two-year provisional period before it was granted an AQ.
"Even during that tough period, morale was great," Pressler said. "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't show it."
•Brad Ross, a midfielder with Major League Lacrosse's Rochester Rattlers and a graduate of Bullis in Montgomery County, retired from pro lacrosse because of concussion issues.
"I think that what kind of made the decision for me and my fiancee and my family was that the doctor was concerned about a getting hit with a big shot and about a number of smaller hits maybe coming in the summer that would've made it worse. In other words, all those smaller hits that have built up over time made him very concerned," Ross said.
Ross played in college at Duke, earning All-America honors for three years. He is an assistant at Bryant.
•Georgetown Prep coach Kevin Giblin earned his 400th career win April 25.
It's just another on a huge list of accomplishments: Nine Interstate Athletic Conference titles. A 400-85 record at Georgetown Prep with 200 players matriculating to Division I, including 35 high school All-Americans.
Giblin, a survivor of colon cancer, is known for his fiery coaching style.
"Coach Giblin is a passionate, dedicated guy who has built a program essentially from scratch to prominent status today," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said. "I consider him a very good friend and enjoy talking to him about lacrosse and working with him."