April 25, 2007

SHU Takes on the Hartford Hawks

April 25, 2007

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Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-8, 1-4 CAA) vs. Hartford Hawks (2-11, 1-3 America East)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007- 6:00 pm - West Hartford, Connecticut - Al Marzook Field (2,500)

SHU Takes on the Hartford Hawks... The Pioneer men's lacrosse team closes out a three-game road swing and the non-conference portion of their schedule Wednesday night taking on the Hartford Hawks. The Pioneers are coming off a 12-9 loss to #18 Delaware on Saturday that eliminated SHU from Colonial Athletic Association playoff contention. Sacred Heart is looking to snap a five-game slide as the face the Hawks who are coming off a 14-8 loss at Brown on Friday. The Hawks posted a 6-4 upset win over Stony Brook, then ranked #19 in the country.

The Series... The all-time series is tied, 4-4. The Hawks snapped a three-game Pioneer winning streak in the series with a 18-9 win in Fairfield last season. SHU posted 13-12 win in 2005, a 13-11 win in 2003 and a 16-8 win in 2002. The Hawks won the first ever meeting, 17-13, in 1998 but the game was later forfeited to the Pioneers. Hartford won the next three meetings in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Up Next... The Pioneers close out the season Saturday afternoon on "Senior Day" hosting CAA rival Villanova at 1 pm.

Last Meeting with Hartford... Ten different University of Hartford players scored goals as the Hawks came away with an 18-9 win at Sacred Heart University in the season finale last year. Hartford's Tom Harris scored five points on four goals and an assist to lead the way. Jason Whitehouse scored a pair of goals and assisted on two more in addition to winning 16-of-27 face-offs and picking up a team-high six grounders. Josh Wasson-McQuigge scored a pair of goals with an assist, Tim Chisholm netted three and Brian Tilley had three markers to cap the Hawk players with multiple goals. Matt Holman scored once and assisted on three others in the win. Goalkeeper Jon McMahon made 15 saves to register the win for the Hawks. Hartford built a 4-2 lead after the first quarter but the Pioneers were able to cut the lead down to one, 5-4, in the early goings of the second quarter on goals by Adam Dzedzy and Billy Fuchs. That would be as close as the Pioneers would get as a six-goal run that stretched into the third quarter gave the Hawks what proved to be an insurmountable 11-4 lead. The Pioneers got two goals apiece from Dzedzy and fellow senior Kiel Adams. Senior James Hinkson scored a goal and assisted on another.

Greco Closing in on 100 Career Points... Senior attackman Peter Greco heads into this Wednesday night's game at Hartford with 93 career points in his four year career. Greco has 54 career goals and 39 career assists, ranking 15th and 9th on the all-time list. His 93 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 (5.00), 5th in points per game (13.70) and 5th in goals per game (8.70). The Pioneers rank 2nd in shot percentage (.275), 3rd in man-up goals (13), 2nd in ground balls per game (32.20), 1st in saves per game (12.00) and 4th in face-off % (.516). Sophomore Bobby Karl is 3rd in the CAA in assists per game at 1.30. Senior Peter Greco is 7th in the league in points per game (2.30), tied for 8th in assists per game at 0.90 per game. Freshman Evan Morgan is tied with Greco in assists per game at 0.90. Junior Ricardo Vargas is the league leader in saves per game (11.30) and is 5th in save percentage (.538) and 6th in goals against average (10.71). Sophomore Zack Smith is 4th in the CAA in face-off percentage (.551) and 3rd in ground balls per game (4.50).

Pioneers in the NCAA Rankings... Through games played as of April 22nd, Pioneers Peter Greco and Zach Smith are in the national rankings. Smith is 17th in face-off winning % and 25th ground balls per game. 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. Syracuse matched the 22 goals against Rutgers.

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 four teams ranked in this week's national lacrosse polls. In this week's USILA coaches poll, Towson is ranked 15th, Drexel is 17th, Delaware is 18th and Hofstra is 20th. In the NIKE media poll, the Tigers are 15th, the Dragons are 18th and the Blue Hens are 19th. The Pride are among teams 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 104-124 (.456) 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.