April 13, 2006
Pioneers Face Drexel in Key CAA Match-Up ... The Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team travels to Drexel University Saturday afternoon for a key Colonial Athletic Association match-up as the race for post season heats up. The Pioneers are 2-2 in the league after a 9-8 comeback win over nationally ranked Delaware on Saturday. The Pioneers have the Dragons and the #13 Towson Tigers left on the league schedule. Drexel is coming off a tough 9-8 loss to the Tigers last weekend with only #2 ranked Hofstra left on their slate.
The Series... Drexel leads the all-time series, 3-1. The Dragons posted a 7-6 win in Fairfield last season and took the first two meetings, 14-7 in 2002 and 9-8 in 2003. Sacred Heart's lone win in the series took place in 2004 at Drexel.
Up Next... The Pioneers will travel to College Park, Maryland to face the national power Maryland for the first time in program history.
Last Meeting with Drexel... Drexel scored six second half goals to eclipse a 4-1 halftime deficit and hand Sacred Heart it's fifth-straight loss, 7-6, on April 9, 2005. The Pioneers took the early advantage, running out to a 4-0 lead while holding Drexel scoreless for the first 28:23 of the game. Junior goalkeeper Thomas Hind was a stone wall in goal during that stretch, making nine stops in the cage. The Dragons finally solved Hind at the 1:37 mark as sophomore Greg Dougherty scored his first of three goals on the day to send Drexel into the half down 4-1. Junior Matt Musci and the Dragons came out on fire to start the third quarter and got right back into the game. Musci buried back to back goals to open the half, man-up at 11:49 from freshman Brian Neary and at 6:33, unassisted, to pull Drexel to within 4-3. Sacred Heart's Christian Lynch answered with a man-up goal of his own at 2:03 to push the Pioneer lead to 5-3. Drexel tacked one more on to end the third on Dougherty's second goal of the day with just 43 ticks left and then pulled the game even at 5-5, 4:27 into the fourth. The Pioneers jumped back in front less than a minute later as Lynch scored his second goal on a breakaway but Dougherty tied the game a second time when he scored his third with 7:14 to go. The Dragons took their first lead at the 6:02 mark when sophomore Adam Crystal caused a turnover and then made the coast to coast trip complete by beating Hind for his first goal of the season and what proved to be the game winner for Drexel. SHU had its chances in the closing minutes, but a turnover, a save by sophomore Bryan Maggio, and a pair of turnovers on the Pioneers final two possessions sealed the win for Drexel.
Scouting the Dragons... The Drexel Dragons are 4-6 on the year and 1-3 in the CAA. The Dragons have lost five straight heading into Saturday's game. Drexel opened the year losing to top-ranked Virginia (15-7) and then rattled of four-straight wins over Lafayette (13-8), Robert Morris (13-4), Saint Jospeh's (7-6) and St. John's (12-6). The Dragons are led by Jeff Pfeffer who has 16 goals and eight assists. Matt Musci has 13 goals and a team-leading 10 assists. Bruce Bickford leads the team in goal sporting an 8.59 goals against average with 125 saves.
SHU Last Time Out... In a game that started in a steady, cold rain and ended with snow falling, Sacred Heat senior Kiel Adams scored with 22 seconds on the clock to complete a fourth quarter comeback and lift the Pioneers to a 9-8 win over the #14 ranked Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens. The Pioneers upset victory was their first over a ranked team in program history. SHU headed into the fourth quarter chasing a three-goal Delaware lead and shut the Blue Hen offense down over the final 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the Pioneer rally started at the 8:00 minute mark and continued until Adams buried a feed from fellow senior Matt Robideau with 22 ticks left to vault the Pioneers to the win. The Pioneers late game heroics was set up by Robideau who forced a turnover at midfield, scooped up the ground ball and sent SHU off in transition. The senior hit Kiel on the left who promptly buried it with 22 seconds left. The Blue Hens sent Alex Smith into the face-off circle for the final draw. Smith dominated all game, winning 18-20 to that point but it was SHU's Joe Cavagnaro who got the final draw as he scooped up the grounder and the Pioneers killed of the remaining seconds for the win.
SHU in the CAA Rankings... The Pioneers are fifth in the league in scoring with 8.60 goals per game. SHU is fifth in the rankings in assists per game (5.10 apg) and fifth in points per game (13.70 ppg). As a team, Sacred Heart is third best in the league in man-up offense (34.4%) and third on the penalty kill, allowing just nine goals in 44 attempts (.795). Seniors Kiel Adams and Matt Robideau are fifth and sixth in the league in goals per game with 18 and 16, respectively. Robideau is fifth in points (2.67 ppg). and Adams is 10th (2.20 ppg). Junior Pete Greco is fifth in assists per game (1.00 apg) and freshman Bobby Karl is eighth (0.90 apg). Robideau is tied for the league lead in man-up goals with five. Senior Jim Millhausen is third in save percentage (.592).
Upset Special... The Pioneers fourth quarter comeback win over Delaware, 9-8, marked the first time in program history SHU has defeated a ranked opponent. The Blue Hens were ranked #14 coming into the game and held a four-goal lead after three before the Pioneers came fighting back for the win.
Robideau Approaches 100 Points... Senior Matt Robideau is just one point away from becoming the 11th player is school history to record 100 career points. Robideau has 65 goals and 34 assists heading into Saturday's game at Drexel. He currently ranks 11th on the all-time list for goals scored.
2006 Schedule... The 2006 schedule features eight teams currently ranked in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse Top-20 polls. Hofstra, Maryland, UMass, Delaware, Towson and Denver are all in the top-20 while Colgate and Binghamton have received votes. The Pioneers 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 102-112 (.477) 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.