Pioneers To Take On #20 Bryant in NEC Tournament Semifinals Thursday Night

Pioneers To Take On #20 Bryant in NEC Tournament Semifinals Thursday Night

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#3 Sacred Heart Pioneers (6-8) vs. #2 Bryant Bulldogs (12-4)  

2014 Northeast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship - Semifinal       

May 1, 7:30 PM - Sweeney Field - Philadelphia, Pa.

The Weekend Ahead: Sacred Heart travels to Philadelphia for the 2014 NEC Men's Lacrosse Tournament, hosted by Saint Joseph's. The Pioneers enter the tournament as the #3 seed, taking on #2 Bryant in the second semifinal Thursday night at 7:30. 

Series History vs. Bryant: Bryant leads the overall series with Sacred Heart 7-0. The Bulldogs won this season's meeting 14-5 at Campus Field. Five different players accounted for the five Sacred Heart goals. The Pioneers lost 11-9 to Bryant in last year's NEC Tournament, Sacred Heart's first NEC tournament appearance.

Last Time Out: Sacred Heart closed out the regular season last Saturday with a 14-10 win over Mount St. Mary's at Campus Field on Senior Day. The Pioneers outshot the Mountaineers 14-2 in the first quarter in taking a 3-0 lead, and led 7-2 at halftime. Alex Miller and Mike Mawdsley each scored a game-high four goals for Sacred Heart. Miller added a pair of assists for a game-high six points. Matt Gannon had five points on a goal and four assists.  

SO, WE MEET AGAIN...: Sacred Heart will take on Bryant for the second consecutive season in the NEC Tournament on Thursday. Last season, Bryant led 7-4 at halftime and took an 11-6 lead before the Pioneers went on a 3-0 run in the fourth quarter to make the final score 11-9. 

AFLEET ALEX: Senior midfielder Alex Miller is having a breakout year in his final season, leading Sacred Heart with 25 goals and 44 points. Coming into this season, Miller had 36 career points (11G, 25A) in 33 games. He is second in the NEC in points per game at 3.14. Miller had three or more goals in five games this season. He had a career-high six points in wins over Hobart and Mount St. Mary's this season.

GANNON DISHING ASSISTS:  Senior attack Matt Gannon enters this weekend's NEC Tournament second in the conference in assists, averaging 1.5 per game. Gannon led the NEC in assists last season at 2.57 per game. This season he has 21 assists, but has scored a career-high 11 goals. Gannon is currently on a 24-game point-scoring streak, with 2+ points in 18 of those games. He is currently second all-time at Sacred Heart in career assists with 83.

MAWDSLEY MAKING MOVES: Senior attack Mike Mawdsley capped the regular season with his second four-goal game of the season last Saturday in the win over Mount St. Mary's. He also had four goals on March 8 in Sacred Heart's win over Providence. On April 15, Mawdsley scored a career-high seven goals in the 16-8 win over Wagner. The senior has 27 goals this season and is fifth in the NEC at 1.93 goals per game. This season he became the fifth Pioneer to eclipse 100 career goals, scoring 111 in 54 games. 

SPREAD THE WEALTH: Sacred Heart leads the NEC in assists, averaging 6.36 per game. The Pioneers have assisted on 61.8% of their goals this season (90 of 144). Sacred Heart had assists on at least half of its goals in 12 of 14 games. The Pioneers had 12 assists on their 16 goals against Wagner on April 15, and 10 assists on 13 goals at Stony Brook on March 11.

KEEP 'EM CLOSE: The Pioneers are 4-4 this season in games decided by two goals or less. Sacred Heart is 3-1 in one-goal games, including the thrilling 12-11 win at Holy Cross in overtime on April 8. The Pioneers trailed 11-3 heading into the fourth quarter, erasing the Crusaders' lead in the final period to force overtime. Mike Mawdsley scored the game-winning goal to cap a 9-0 run to end the game.