Pioneer Offense Explodes for 17 in Win Over Mercer

Pioneer Offense Explodes for 17 in Win Over Mercer

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart University men's lacrosse team erupted for 17 goals in a 17-7 win over Mercer at Campus Field, Tuesday afternoon.  The win evened the Pioneers record at 2-2, while the Bears dropped to 0-8.

Sophomore attack Bryan Badolato (West Islip, N.Y.) led the way for SHU with a career-high four goals.  He leads the team in points with 15, including eight goals, equal to his freshman year total.  Badolato netted his first two goals in the first quarter, the only two goals for either side in the period.

The Pioneers went up 6-0 with under five minutes to play in the second as they scored four goals in less than five minutes.  In that span, sophomore midfielder Shane Foley (South Brunswick, N.H.) picked up his first career goal as well as an assist.  Mercer grabbed back some momentum heading into the break as freshmen Harry Baker and John Avent each scored man-up goals, following an un-releasable penalty by freshman defenseman Seth Richard (Derry, N.H.).

The Bears cut the SHU lead to 6-3 early in the third quarter with a score from freshman Eoin Collins, but Badolato pushed the deficit back to four as he recorded his first hat trick of the season.  Exactly one minute later, he found the back of the net again for his fourth of the afternoon.  The Pioneer offense continued to click as sophomore midfielder Tim Sanders (Ashburn, Va.) picked up a groundball and went in for an unassisted score.

The Pioneers would get two more before Mercer answered back with two goals, including one on the man-up.  Nineteen seconds after freshman Cole Branch posted the extra-man score for the Bears, senior midfielder Billy Skelos (Lynbrook, N.Y.) put in a man-down goal for Sacred Heart.

In the fourth quarter, the Pioneers outscored the Bears 4-1.  Freshman attack Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.) scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season and second of the game.

Senior Zach Frank (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) started in the cage for SHU and totaled 12 saves, while allowing six goals.  Freshmen Alex Dvoretsky (Montville, N.J.) and Ryan Hughes (Bayport, N.Y.) each made their debut in relief.  In goal for Mercer, freshman Justin Bateman made 17 saves in the start.

For the game, Sacred Heart outshot Mercer 53-28 and held a 55-36 advantage in groundballs.  Sophomore midfielder Stephen Kontos (Danvers, Md.) won a career-high 21 face-offs in 24 tries and collected a career-best 10 groundballs.

The Pioneers return to action on Saturday at 1:00 pm as they hit the road to take on Manhattan.