SACRED HEART (3-6) VS. ROBERT MORRIS (7-3)
Game 10 * Fairfield, CT * 12:00 p.m. * Campus Field
Setting the Scene… The Pioneers will take on Robert Morris Saturday afternoon in their first Northeast Conference home game of the 2012 season. The Colonials have won two-straight and four of their last five after a 22-10 win at Wagner in their NEC opener last Saturday. SHU is 0-1 after falling at Bryant, 11-8, and are looking to snap out of a two-game slide.
Last Time Out… Senior Aaron Lupo (Schenectady, N.Y.) led the Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team with two goals, but it wasn't enough to top the Bryant Bulldogs as the Pioneers fell 11-8 last Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs claimed a four-goal lead in the first quarter that they would never relinquish. Bryant came out of the halftime break with a 7-4 lead, but did not manage a single goal in the third quarter. Both defenses held tough through most of the period, before Casey dished the ball to Lupo who found the back of the net chipping away at the deficit. Tom Sardelli (Rochester, Mi.) and Cody Marquis (Londonderry, N.H.) teamed up to put one more goal up for the Pioneers with just two seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Pioneer News and Notes… Goalkeeper Ryan Hughes (Bayport, NY) continued his double-digit save streak, stopping 14 in the 11-8 loss to Bryant...He now has made 10-plus saves in eight-straight games...Hughes is third in the NEC in goals against average (10.19), second in save percentage (.531) and third in saves per game (10.62)...Sacred Heart leads the league in man-up scoring, averaging 1.56 man-up goals per game...Sophomore Matt Gannon (Huntington, N.Y.) sits atop the NEC in assists, averaging 1.88 per game...Classmate Mike Mawdsley (Inisfil, On.) and senior Matt Ferrino (Orchard Park, N.Y.) are tied for first in the league in man-up goals, averaging 0.56 man-up goals per game...Mawdsley is fifth among the league leading goal scorers, posting 19 goals on the year (2.11 pg).
All-Time vs. Robert Morris… The Pioneers lead the all-time series against the Colonials, 4-3. Sacred Heart opened the all-time series with four-straight wins but Robert Morris has turned the tide of late. The Colonials have posted three-straight wins heading into this season's meeting.
Last Meeting with Robert Morris… Sacred Heart's chances at a spot in the first-ever Northeast Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament looked dim early on when Robert Morris raced out to a 6-0 lead before the Pioneers got on the board with five minutes left in the first quarter. The Colonial attack continued to click and SHU had no answer as it lost its fourth straight game, 27-11, in the 2011 season finale. Robert Morris started both of the first quarters scoring three goals in the first minute and headed into halftime with a 19-5 lead. The Pioneers would get just one goal in the third quarter when freshman Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.) found the back of the net only 1:03 into the half. SHU added five more goals in the fourth quarter, all coming against RMU back-up goalkeeper freshman Brian Bohn. Mawdsley finished the game with three goals, his seventh hat trick, and two assists.
Scouting the Colonials… Robert Morris comes into Saturday's game carrying a 7-3 record, continuing to pick-up votes in the USILA Coaches Top-20 and NIKE/InsideLacrosse.com Media Top-20 polls. Casey Abbott, Jake Hayes and Ryan Higgins had four goals a piece in the 22-10 win at Wagner in RMU's league opener a week ago. Dave Morton tied the school single-game record tallying five assists and eight points. As a team, the Colonials lead the league in seven catagories: goals (12.8 pg), assists (8.5 pg), points (21.30 pg), shots (38.3 pg), shot percentage (.334), man-up scoring percentage (.368) and shots on goal (23.0 pg). Kiel Matisz and Hayes top the league in goals and points per game. Matisz has 28 goals (2.80 pg) with Hayes right on his heels at 27 (2.70 pg). Hayes also sits atop the NEC with three game-winning goals on the year.
Around the NEC… Bryant won its sixth in a row with an 11-8 clipping of Sacred Heart...The win boosted the Bulldogs on to the national stage, as they break into the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Top-20 Coaches' Poll debuting at No. 19, the highest any NEC team has ever been ranked...The Bulldogs were also ranked 20th in the NIKE/InsideLacrosse.com Media Poll this week...Bryant (3rd) and SHU (7th) are ranked in this week's New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Poll...After taking down defending NEC Champions Mount St. Mary's 12-8, Quinnipiac's Matt Diehl and Chris Coppolecchia picked up a pair of NEC weekly awards...Freshman midfielder Diehl, who scored five goals including the game-winner, earned the titles of Offensive Player of the Week and Co-Rookie of the Week, sharing the award with Bryant's Kevin Massa...Senior defensman Chris Coppolecchia was named NEC Defensive Player of the Week after he caused five turnovers and picked up eight groundballs in the 12-8 win.