March 20, 2006
SHU Searches for First Win at UMass... The Sacred Heart Pioneers travel to the University of Massachusetts Tuesday afternoon looking to snap a five-game losing streak to start the season. The Pioneers are coming off a 10-8 loss against Binghamton last time out. The Minutemen are 4-1 on the year and ranked 10th in the USILA Coaches' Poll and 8th in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.
The Series... UMass leads the all-time series, 3-0. The Minutemen won the first two meetings on their home field, 13-7 in 2003 and 12-4 in 2004. They made their first trip to Campus Field last season and came away with an 8-3 victory.
Up Next... Sacred Heart returns home to host Robert Morris on Saturday, March 25th as they open play in the Colonial Athletic Association portion of the schedule.
Last Meeting with UMass... Junior Sean Morris scored three times and senior Jeff Zywicki twice to lead the Massachusetts Minutemen to an 8-3 win over Sacred Heart University on March 22nd in Fairfield. The Minutemen fired 33 shots, forcing SHU goalkeeper Thomas Hind to make nine saves while their defense controlled play. Despite allowing 28 shots, the UMass defense limited the Pioneers to very few quality scoring chances. Senior Bill Schnell made 14 saves in the win as the defense held SHU scoreless for the last 25:52 of the game. The Pioneers cut the lead to one in the opening minutes of the third quarter, 4-3, but the Minutemen clapped down on defense and kept the Pioneers at bay the rest of the way while scoring four more, the last three by Morris to put the game away. UMass held the Pioneer's top four scorers with out a point on the afternoon while Schnell turned in 14 saves.
Scouting the Minutemen... UMass is out to a 4-1 start and ranked 10th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 10th in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Minutemen are led by the nation's leading scorer, Sean Morris, who has 29 points on nine goals and 20 assists.
SHU Last Time Out... Binghamton ran off three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to edge Sacred Heart, 10-8, in men's lacrosse action last Saturday afternoon. SHU controlled most of the first five minutes of the game, but could not get on the board early on. The Pioneers were down 3-0 when junior Mike Collins scored with 1:15 left in the first to get them on the board. Freshman Nicholas Russo got the Pioneer comeback started with a goal at the 6:38 mark of the second quarter. The Pioneers then rattled off markers by Kiel Adams and Matthew Robideau to draw even with 2:36 left in the first half. However, the Bearcats scored twice in the final 1:14 to take a 6-4 lead into the locker room. Robideau scored his second of three goals on the day 1:31 into the third quarter to draw the Pioneers within 6-5. After Jake Boyce completed his goal trifecta for the Bearcats, Robideau wrapped up his to make the score 7-6. Adams drew the Pioneers even and then, with 26 seconds left in the third and the Pioneers a man-up, sophomore Billy Fuchs scored to put the Pioneers up 8-7. However, the Pioneers could not hold the lead in the final quarter.
Offensive Options... Sacred Heart has had 11 different players score goals through five games this season and six players score multiple goals in a game. Junior Peter Greco has 12 points overall and multiple points through four of the first five games.
Tanzi Solid All-Around... Sophomore midfielder Tony Tanzi is third on the team in scoring with nine points on four goals and five assists, scoring at least two points or more in the last three of four games. He also leads the team with 22 ground balls and is the team's top face-off man winning 23 of 51 attempts.
2006 Schedule... The Pioneers will play a 14 game schedule in 2006 that features eight teams currently ranked in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse Top-20 polls. Maryland, UMass, Delaware, Denver, Hofstra, Colgate, Binghamton and Towson were all ranked in this week's polls. SHU opens the six 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 100-109 (.478) 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.