March 8, 2006
Pioneers Travel to Colorado... The Pioneers travel to Colorado for a pair of games looking for their first win of 2006. SHU will face Air Force before heading to the #13-ranked Denver Pioneers. The Falcons are also looking for their first win as they come in at 0-4. The Pioneers dropped games to Colgate (12-10) and Manhattan (6-5, ot) at home before heading out west for Spring Break.
The Series... Sacred Heart leads the all-time series, 1-0. SHU posted an 11-10 overtime win in the 2004 season finale in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Up Next... The Pioneers will continue their road trip in Colorado as they take on #13-ranked Denver on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm.
Last Meeting with Air Force... Senior Jorge Bravo scored with just 57 seconds to play in overtime to give Sacred Heart an 11-10 win over visiting Air Force on May 1st, 2004. Bravo along with fellow seniors Ben Giamichael and James Delmonico combined for eight of the Pioneers 11 goals to lead SHU to the season ending victory on Senior Day. The Pioneers trailed 7-4 at the half and battled back to tie the game at 10 all with just under two minutes to play in regulation to send the game to the extra session. Both teams got offensive chances in the overtime period but it was Bravo who made his last collegiate shot count, burying a pass from freshman Francis Hunter to send the Pioneers home winners. Both Giamichael and Bravo tallied three goals apiece in the win while Delmonico and Ryan Pettit chipped in with two each. Sophomore Matthew Robideau rounded out the SHU scoring with his team-leading 21st goal. Adam Dzedzy picked up four assists in the win. For Air Force, D.J. Benzing finished with six points on five assists and a goal. Justin Kuchta had three goals. Justin Pavoni turned in a solid performance in goal, recording 15 saves in the taking the loss.
Scouting the Falcons... The Air Force men's lacrosse team is 0-4 in 2006 with a loss to Colonial Athletic Association member Villanova in the season opener, 11-6, followed by an 8-6 loss to North Carolina and a 5-4 loss to Manhattan in the Denver Face-off Classic and a loss to UMBC, 9-5, last time out. Kevin Crumrine and Griffin Nevitt lead the Falcons with five goals apiece in the early going. Justin Kuchta has three scores with three assists. Justin Pavoni has played every minute in goal making 39 saves with an 8.25 goals against average.
SHU Last Time Out... Manhattan erased a three goal fourth quarter deficit to force overtime and Greg Lewis notched the game-winner with 1:21 left to lift the Jaspers to a 6-5 win over Sacred Heart. The Jaspers out shot SHU 11-4 over the first 15 minutes but failed to convert on three man-up opportunities. The Pioneers struggled clearing the ball and had nine turnovers but made the most of their four shots, leading 2-0 after one. The Pioneers tacked another one on in the second and led 3-2 at the break. SHU lead 5-2 in the fourth but went cold and the Jaspers began to mount their comeback. Manhattan tied the game at 5-5 as the game went to OT. SHU got a great opportunity just 15 seconds into overtime with a man-up opportunity, but managed just one shot. The Pioneers would never get the ball back offensively. Manhattan's Murray made a perfect pass to a cutting Lewis who buried the ball in the back of the net with 1:21 on the clock for the 6-5 win. Peter Greco finished with three points for Sacred Heart on a goal and three assists.
Offensive Options... Sacred Heart has had four players score multiple goals in their first two games and seven different goal scorers overall. Junior Peter Greco has seven points in two games this year followed by senior Kiel Adams with five points and senior Matt Robideau with four.
Greco an Early Offensive Spark... Junior Peter Greco scored three goals with an assist in the opener versus Colgate and had a goal with two helper last time out against Manhattan.
Hind Solid in Goal... Senior Thomas Hind is coming off a strong outing against the Jaspers where he turned away 16 shots and allowed just six goals.
Face-off... Freshman Zach Smith gave the Pioneers a spark on the face-off against Manhattan. Smith took 11 draws, winning eight with four grounders in his first action of the season.
2006 Schedule... The Pioneers will play a 14 game schedule in 2006 that features seven teams currently ranked in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse Top-20 polls. Maryland (#1), UMass (#7), Delaware (#11), Denver (#13), Hofstra (#15) and Towson (#16) were all ranked in this week's poll with Colgate and Hofstra also receiving votes. SHU opens the 6 game CAA schedule on March 25th hosting new member Robert Morris. The Pioneers will play Maryland and Binghamton for the first time in school history.
Pioneer History... This is the 16th season of men's lacrosse at Sacred Heart. The Pioneers post a mark of 100-106 (.485) in their 16 year history. Head Coach Tom Mariano is the program's longest tenured coach in his 10th season at the helm. SHU begins it's fifth season of competition in the Colonial Athletic Association, one of the premier lacrosse leagues in the NCAA. Prior to joining the league, the Pioneers spent two seasons competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.