March 19, 2007

SHU to Face UMass Tuesday Afternoon

March 19, 2007

Sacred Heart vs. UMass Game Notes in PDF Format
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Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-2, 0-0 CAA) vs. Massachusetts Minutemen (1-4, 0-0 ECAC)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007- 3:00 pm - Amherst, Massachusetts - Garber Field (5,000)

Pioneers Take On UMass Minutemen... The Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team will head to Amherst on Tuesday afternoon to take on the University of Massachusetts. The Pioneers were forced to cancel their trip to Binghamton over the weekend due to the weather conditions. The Pioneers last played on March 10th, losing to Manhattan, 10-8. The Minutemen welcome Sacred Heart after a 7-4 loss to rival Brown on Saturday afternoon.

The Series... UMass leads the all-time series, 4-0. The Minutemen and Pioneers have met each season since 2003. UMass posted a 17-9 win at home last season and has also posted wins at home in 2003 (13-7) and in 2004 (12-4). They made their only trip to Campus Field in 2005 and came away with an 8-3 victory.

Up Next... Sacred Heart will get the Colonial Athletic Association schedule under way on Sunday afternoon, March 25th, when they make the trip out to Moon Township, Pennsylvania to take on the Robert Morris Colonials.

Last Meeting with UMass... The 10th-ranked UMass men's lacrosse team scored nine consecutive goals in the second half to break an 8-8 tie and surge past Sacred Heart on the way to a 17-9 win on March 21, 2006. Massachusetts junior Brett Garber scored three of his four goals in the 9-0 run. After the SHU 5-0 run at the end of the second in to the third tied the game at 8-8, UMass scored nine straight goals over a span of 16:51. Garber netted back-to-back goals, 57 seconds apart, putting the Minutemen ahead for good at 10-8 with 3:01 left in the third quarter. SHU got three goals from senior Kiel Adams while senior Kevin Walker scored a pair. Junior Peter Greco scored once and passed out a pair of assists. UMass controlled the face-off circle with Jake Deane winning 20-of-26 and scooping a game-high nine groundballs. SHU's Jim Millhausen got the start and made 10 saves into the third quarter.

Greco and Morgan Guiding the Offense... The SHU offensive attack has been led by senior Peter Greco and freshman Evan Morgan through three games on SHU's schedule. Greco is coming off a three goal effort at Manhattan last time out and is leading the team with 11 points (4 goals/7 assists). Morgan has a team best five goals while matching that with five assists. Morgan has taken just eight shots, six on goal, in three games (.750 SOG%). Greco has a pair of man-up goals while Morgan has scored once man-up and once man-down.

CAA Rankings... The Sacred Heart offense is ranked first in the Colonial Athletic Association in points per game (19.00), assists per game (7.33), shot percentage (.297) and second in goals per game (11.67). Peter Greco is second in the league in points per game (3.67) while Evan Morgan is third (3.33). Greco leads the conference in assists per game (2.33) with Morgan second (1.67). Sophomore Zach Smith is fifth in the CAA in face-off percentage (27-19 - .587).

Sacred Heart Offense Shines... The Pioneers posted their largest margin of victory since the 2002 season, beating Wagner 22-5 on March 3rd. SHU's offense was led by 15 different Pioneers who scored goals in the win. Fifteen of the Pioneer's 22 goals were assisted as SHU posted it's biggest win since beating the Seahawks 22-4 in 2002. Freshman Timmy Katz, Dan Mesler, John Flood and Stephen Gerhard all scored their first collegiate goals.

Greco Sets School Record... Senior Peter Greco established a new Sacred Heart record for assists in a game when he passed out six in SHU's win over Wagner two weeks ago. The senior distributed assists to five different players as the Pioneers posted their biggest win in five years, earning him CAA Co-Player of the Week honors. Greco's six helpers breaks the record of five held by Mike Robel versus Drexel in 2002 and SHU assistant coach Chris Lukowski versus Dowling in 1996.

Strength of CAA Lacrosse... The 2007 season is just underway but the Colonial Athletic Association is showing early signs of being a force across the national lacrosse landscape. The league has three teams ranked in this week's national lacrosse polls. In the USILA coaches poll, Delaware is #14, Towson is #16, Drexel is #19 and Hofstra in among teams receiving votes. In the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll, Towson i #15 with Delaware in at #17. Both Hofstra and Drexel are receiving votes.

Preseason CAA Poll... The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens received six first place votes to earn the top spot in the 2007 CAA Preseason Coaches Poll. The Towson Tigers received the other first place vote and were picked second. Defending champion Hofstra was tabbed third followed by Villanova and Drexel. The Pioneers were picked sixth and Robert Morris rounded out the field in seventh.

2007 Schedule... The Pioneers have put together a competitive 13 game schedule in 2007 featuring four games against teams ranked in the USILA Preseason Coaches Top-20. In non-league action, SHU will take on Colgate, Wagner, Manhattan, Binghamton, UMass and Hartford. The 2007 CAA Tournament will take place on May 2nd and 5th.

2007 Team Captains... Four seniors and a junior will captain the 2007 Pioneers. Senior attackers Peter Greco and Rory Morse, senior midfielder Casey Kirch, senior defender Pat Healy and junior midfield Tony Tanzi were voted team captains by their teammates.

Pioneer History... This is the 17th season of men's lacrosse at Sacred Heart. The Pioneers post a mark of 103-118 (.466) in their 17 year history. Head Coach Tom Mariano is the program's longest tenured coach in his 11th season at the helm. SHU begins it's sixth season of competition in the Colonial Athletic Association. Prior to joining the league, the Pioneers spent two seasons competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.