Final Tune-Up for NEC Play Saturday Night as SHU Hosts St. John's

SACRED HEART (3-4) VS. ST. JOHN'S (4-3)

Game 08 * Fairfield, Conn. * 7:00 p.m. * Campus Field

Live Video * Live Stats

Setting the Scene… The Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team wraps up the two-game home stand against the St. John's Red Storm Saturday night before heading to Bryant next Saturday to open NEC play against the Bulldogs. The Pioneers rebounded from last weekend's tough 12-11 loss to Vermont with a 10-9 win over the University of Hartford on Wednesday. The Red Storm fell to Hofstra on Tuesday 14-10 snapping a two-game winning streak.

Last Time Out… Sacred Heart sophomore goalie Ryan Hughes turned in 13 saves, none bigger than his last with eight seconds to play to preserve a 10-9 win over the University of Hartford Wednesday afternoon on Campus Field.  Four different Pioneers scored multiple goals to lead SHU to their third win in their last four games. 

Pioneer News and Notes… The Pioneers have been tough competition in all seven games this year, never having a game decided by more than three goals, and never losing by more than two...SHU closes out the non-conference portion of the schedule on Saturday night taking on St. John's, who received votes in this week's USILA Coaches' Top-20 and Nike/InsideLacrosse.com Media Top-20 polls…The Red Storm is the only team the Pioneers have ever faced since the Big East added lacrosse in 2010...SHU has faced Villanova, Providence and Rutgers when all three were members of other conferences...With 13 saves against Hartford, SHU goalie Ryan Hughes continues his four-game streak of double-digit saves...Hughes owns a 9.77 GAA and a .535 save %, both second among NEC goalies...Sophomore Mike Mawdsley and senior Matt Ferrino sit atop the NEC rankings in man-up goals, with four apiece (0.57 pg)...Mawdsley is third in the league in scoring with 17 goals (2.43 pg) and ranks fifth among NCAA leaders in shot percentage (.548)...Sophomore Matt Gannon, who dished out one assist in the win over Hartford, leads the league with 2.17 assists per game...Heading into this week, Gannon ranked sixth nationally in assists per game...Sophomore Cody Marquis is in a three-way tie for first with two game-winning goals this season…Junior Stephen Kontos is third in the league in face-off percentage, winning 89 of 161 (.553) and shares the team lead with sophomore defenseman Tim Caton in ground balls, both with 32...Caton also leads the team with 15 caused turnovers...Sacred Heart leads the league with man-up goals (1.71 pg) and a .364 man-up scoring percentage...SHU also leads in shots on goal (21.71 per game)...The Pioneers entered this week ranked 10th in the nation in man-down defense (.735).

All-Time vs. St. John's… The Pioneers and the Red Storm are even with one win a piece in the all-time series that only started in 2010. Sacred Heart walked away with the first victory two years ago, defeating St. John's 8-6 at home on Campus Field. Last year, the Red Storm toppled the Pioneers, winning the game by eight goals, 15-7, at home. 

Last Meeting with the St. John's… The Red Storm out shot the Pioneers 41-32 for the game and held a 33-23 lead in groundballs in the 15-7 Sacred Heart loss.  St. John's scored twice on extra-man opportunities, while Sacred Heart was held scoreless in three tries. Kevin Cernuto led the St. John's attack with four goals and an assist, while Kieran McArdle added a hat trick and an assist. Charlie Hollenstein, Brandon Ayers and Keith Switzer all recorded multi-goal games for the Johnnies. For SHU, attack Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.) netted his fourth hat trick of the season to lead the Pioneer offense. Junior goalkeeper Jeff Lowman has started all seven games for St. John's and is averaging 9.87 saves per game.

Scouting the Red Storm… St. John's comes to Campus Field with a 4-3 record after falling to Hofstra 14-10 on Tuesday. The Red Storm, which is 1-1 in early Big East play, is averaging 9.57 goals per game and averaging 32.3 shots per outing (.296).  The Red Storm sport one of the nation's top man-up offenses, converting 14 of 30 opportunities (.467). Sophomore Kieran McArdle leads the team with 13 goals and 13 assists. Jordan Rothman takes the majority of the Red Storm's face-offs and has won 54.2% (83-153) of them.  X goalkeeper Jeff Lowman posts a stingy 9.87 goals against average and ranks sixth in the NCAA in saves per game (11.0 pg).

Around the NEC… Sacred Heart and the Robert Morris Colonials were the only Northeast Conference teams to play earlier this week. The Pioneers picked up their third win of the season 10-9 over the University of Hartford while the Colonials, picked to finish third in the league in the Preseason Coaches' Poll, fell to No. 20 Bucknell 17-10. Robert Morris collected two of this week's NEC Awards. Senior midfielder Kiel Matisz was named Offensive Player of the Week after scoring five goals and dishing out two assists in the Colonials' 14-12 win over Hobart. RMU redshirt junior goalkeeper Dillon Pope picks up the nod as Defensive Player of the Week after making 17 saves in his second collegiate start. Bryant's Kevin Massa gets the title of Rookie of the Week after winning 23 of 29 faceoffs last week and recording three assists, a new career-high.  Both Bryant and RMU continue to knock on the door of breaking into the coaches and media top-20 polls, both receiving votes again this week.  This is the final week of tune-ups before NEC play gets started next weekend. 

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