FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Pioneers and Bulldogs each enter tonight's contest with a 1-1 record in Northeast Conference play and look to get a leg-up as the post-season draws near. Tonight marks Senior and Alumni Night in the final home game of 2011 for the Pioneers who are 2-4 at Campus Field this season.
About the Pioneers... Scoring at a clip of 10.20 goals per game, Sacred Heart enters the weekend 4-6 overall and 1-1 in the NEC and has lost four of five, including two on its home field. Sophomore attack Bryan Badolato, who sat out last weekend's game, leads the team in scoring with 28 points on 18 goals and a team-high 10 assists. Freshman attack Mike Mawdsley is the team's top goal scorer with 21, after posting his fifth hat trick of the season in Saturday's loss to Mount St. Mary's. He is second in points with 27 and has registered a point in all 10 games this season. Freshman Cody Marquis and Alex Miller have totaled 13 and 12 points respectively, with each scoring four times, and Marquis has dished out nine assists to Miller's eight. Sophomore midfielder Stephen Kontos has picked up a team-best 51 groundballs and won 111 face-offs for a win percentage of .561. Senior goalie Zach Frank holds a .573 save percentage, on 126 stops, and 9.87 goals against average, while starting all 10 games between the pipes.
Scouting the Bulldogs... Since dropping its conference opener to Quinnipiac, Bryant has won three straight, including a 19-9 NEC thrashing of Wagner last weekend, to come into tonight's contest at 6-6 and 1-1. Sophomore attack Peter McMahon has tallied a team-leading 31 points on 10 goals and a team-best 21 helpers. Junior midfielder Max Weisenberg is second with 24 points on 16 goals and eight assists, while senior mid Gary Crowley is the team's top goal scorer with 19 to go with four assists. Graduate student Trevor Sipperly, the two-time defending NEC Defensive Player of the Week, has scooped up 63 groundballs on 129 face-off wins for a win percentage of .614. In the cage, junior Jameson Love has played all but 18 minutes this season and owns a .513 save percentage and 6.95 GAA.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart led Mount St. Mary's, 3-2, at the half, but was shutout in the third quarter en route to an 11-7 home loss to the Mountaineers, last Saturday. Midway through the first, the Pioneers tied the game at one on a goal by sophomore Trevor Dauses and took the lead moments later on Mawdsley's first goal of the day. With only 19 second left in the first, Andrew Scalley tied the game at two for the Mount. Mawdsley registered the only score of the second to give the Pioneers the lead at the break. MSM took control in the third quarter as it outscored SHU 6-0 for the period, behind two goals, one on the man-up, by Cody Lehrer. Mawdsley took over the team-lead in goals at 21 with his fifth hat trick of the season, while sophomore Eric Madigan added a score and an assist.
Last Time They Met... Bryant came out on top of a low-scoring affair at home last season, 9-4. The Bulldogs held a 27-22 lead in shots for the game, with neither side attempting nine shots or more in a single quarter of play. Travis Harrington posted a hat trick and two assists, while J.K. Poirier tallied two scores and one helper for the winning side. For the Pioneers, Timmy Katz tallied a score and an assist, while fellow senior Jon Flood and Joe Caridi also scored for SHU. Jameson Love stopped 10 shots for the Bulldogs, while Tom Trgo made eight saves for the Pioneers.
All-Time vs. Bryant... The Bulldogs and Pioneers have faced off in each of the past two season with both games going Bryant's way. In 2009, the Bulldogs recorded their first win in Division I at Campus Field, 22-8. This is the first time that the two teams will be competing as NEC opponents, as last season both were D-I independents.
SHU Class of `11... Tonight will be "Senior Night" for the Pioneer men's lacrosse team. This year Sacred Heart will graduate seven seniors. Captains Ben Cimmino, Zach Frank, and Billy Skelos along with Tim Lewis, Michael Mortali, Myles Rich, and Loren Scott will suit up for their final home game with the Red & White. Over the span of the last four seasons, these seniors have posted a 19-32 record, including a 7-5 freshman year in 2008, the last SHU team to post a record above .500.
On This Date... Sacred Heart is 2-2 all-time when stepping on the field on April 16. Both wins, over Northwood Institute and New Haven, came while competing in Division II. In 2003 and 2005, the Pioneers dropped games at Loyola and Towson at the D-I level.
Top 40... Senior goalie Zach Frank ranks for 2nd nationally in save per game at 12.60 and 11th with a save percentage of .573. He also sneaks into the Top 40 with a 9.88 goals against average, in 40th. Despite being inactive last week, sophomore Bryan Badolato is tied for 20th with 3.11 points per game and 38th with 2.00 goals per contest, while also landing in 27th with a .400 shot percentage. In the face-off circle, sophomore Stephen Kontos ranks 18th with a .561 win percentage and tied for 22nd at 5.10 groundballs per game. Freshman Mike Mawdsley is the team's top ranked goal scorer at 2.10 per game, good enough for 28th.
Up Next... The Pioneers get back on the road for their final two regular season games as they head to Quinnipiac for a 1:00 pm contest on April 23 and at Robert Morris on April 30.