DARIEN, Conn. Next spring, for the first time in five years, Bryant University lacrosse coach Mike Pressler will have to write in a players name as goalie other than Dariens Jameson Love. It will not be an easy task.
Love started every game his in college career at Bryant, and capped it by winning tournament MVP honors as the Bulldogs won their fi rst Northeast Conference championship. Love made five saves in a 12-6 win over Mount St. Mary in the title game and had 13 in the two-game tournament.
Bryant went 44-22 in Loves career. He played in the schools first Division I game and was one of Presslers primary building blocks in taking the team to the top collegiate level.
Hes just not the backbone of the defense, hes the backbone of the team, said Wiltons Peter McMahon, a junior who scored 28 goals for Bryant. Hell be tough to replace. The way he is in the locker room will be one of the toughest things to replace. Everybody looked up to him.
Pressler said the team voted on captains, and Love was a unanimous choice.
All 40 guys voted for him, Pressler said. Hes one of the most dynamic leaders Ive been around in 30 years of college coaching.
On the field, Loves final season may have been his best. He finished in the top 10 in the nation in three statistical categories, including third in save percentage (.602), eighth in saves per game (11.33) and seventh in goals against (7.49).
Pressler said Love did more than stop balls.
He not only made saves, but he caught the ball and triggered the transition game, Pressler said. Many times it became a two-goal swing. Thats the area that he really improved since hes been here.
Perhaps Loves most important contribution to Bryants success was his decision to attend the school coming out of Darien High. He was highly recruited by many of the nations top lacrosse programs. Bryant hadnt even played a game in Division I, and yet Love believed in Pressler to start from the ground up to establish the program.
My loyalty to him and the seniors is second to none, Pressler said. They helped make the program what it is.
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