April 13, 2007

Pioneers Renew LAX Rivalry with Quinnipiac

April 13, 2007

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Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-6, 1-3 CAA) vs. Quinnipiac Bobcats (4-5, 0-3 GWLL)

Saturday, April 14, 2007- 1:00 pm - Hamden, Connecticut - Quinnipiac Lacrosse Field

Pioneers Renew LAX Rivalry with Quinnipiac... It has been five years since Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac have faced-off on the lacrosse field but on Saturday afternoon the two teams will renew their instate rivalry. From 1991, SHU's first season of competition, until 2001, the Pioneers and Bobcats met every season. Sacred Heart will travel to Hamden looking to snap a three-game losing streak during CAA play. The Pioneers are coming off a 10-8 loss to Hofstra on Wednesday. QU beat Hartford, 8-7, in overtime last time out but are 0-3 in the Great Western Lacrosse League thus far.

The Series... The Pioneers lead the all-time series, 8-3. The Pioneers lost 13-10 to the Bobcats in 2001 and beat QU, 15-10 in 2000 when both teams were members of the MAAC. The first meeting took place in 1991, SHU's first season of competition, with Quinnipiac winning 15-3.

Up Next... SHU is back in Colonial Athletic Association action next Saturday night when they travel to the University of Delaware to face the #17 / 18 ranked Fightin' Blue Hens. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Last Meeting with QU... The Pioneers and Quinnipiac met twice as members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association in 2001 and 2000. Quinnipiac scored five goals in the third quarter led by Andy Pelletier who posted four scores to lead the then Braves to a 13-10 win that secured the team it's first-ever MAAC regular season championship in 2001. SHU's Erik Perez scored two goals with an assist followed by Mike Robel who assisted on four Pioneer goals. SHU out shot Quinnipiac 48-32. The wins snapped a Sacred Heart eight-game winning streak. In their 2000 meeting, SHU got five goals and an assist from freshman Stephen Grabow to lead the way to a 15-10 win at home.

Greco Closing in on 100 Career Points... Senior attackman Peter Greco heads into this Saturday's game at Quinnipiac with 90 career points in his four year career. Greco has 52 career goals and 38 career assists, ranking 15th and 9th on the all-time list. His 90 points currently ranks 12th. He is looking to become the 12th player in school history to score 100 career points.

CAA Rankings... The Sacred Heart offense is ranked 2nd in the Colonial Athletic Association in assists per game (5.38), 4th in points per game (14.00) and 4th in goals per game (8.62). The Pioneers rank 1st in shot percentage (.271), 4th in man-up goals (12), 3rd in ground balls per game (30.62), 1st in saves per game (12.00) and 4th in face-off % (.528). Sophomore Bobby Karl, who has five assists in his last two games, is 2nd in the CAA in assists per game at 1.38. Senior Peter Greco and is 4th in the league in points per game (2.50), tied for 6th in assists per game at 1.00 per game. Freshman Evan Morgan is tied with Greco in assists per game at 1.00. Junior Ricardo Vargas is the league leader in saves per game (11.12) and is 5th in save percentage (.543) and 6th in goals against average (10.73). Sophomore Zack Smith is 5th in the CAA in face-off percentage (.550) and 5th in ground balls per game (4.62).

Pioneers in the NCAA Rankings... Through games played as of April 9th, the Pioneers were ranked 15th in the nation in face-off %. Pioneers Peter Greco and Zach Smith are also in the national rankings. Smith is 16th in face-off winning % (.575) and 20th ground balls per game (4.62). Greco's six assists against Wagner ties him for 2nd for the single game high for assists this year. The Pioneers 22 goals against the Seahawks was the 2nd highest scoring total this year, behind Delaware's 23 goals against St. Joseph's.

Strength of CAA Lacrosse... The 2007 season is in full swing with the Colonial Athletic Association once again showing it's a force across the national lacrosse landscape. The league has three teams ranked in this week's national lacrosse polls. In this week's USILA coaches poll, Towson is ranked 14th, Drexel is 16th and Delaware is 17th. In the NIKE media poll, Towson is ranked 15th, Drexel is 16th and the Fightin' Blue Hens sit at 18th.

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 104-122 (.460) 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.