CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sacred Heart redshirt senior attack Joe Saggese became the fifth SHU men's lacrosse player to be drafted in the Major League Lacrosse Draft, held on Saturday night from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. Saggese went 44th overall to the 2018 MLL Runner-Up Dallas Rattlers in the fifth round.
Saggese becomes the fifth player in program history to be drafted by the MLL, joining a list that includes Tony Tanzi '08, Tim Katz '10, Brian Masi '17 and classmate Max Tuttle who went sixth overall to the Denver Outlaws. Saggese is the program's third-highest draft selection, ranking behind Tuttle and Katz who went 28th overall to Long Island in 2010.
One of the top offensive players in program history, Saggese sits third all-time in SHU program history with 167 career points while also sitting fifth all-time in goals (103) and third in assists (64). Saggese scored five goals in Saturday's 16-12 road win at Hartford to become the fifth Pioneer in program history to score 100 career goals. Saggese and Tuttle (170 career points) will graduate in May as the top-two career point leaders in SHU program history.
An All-NEC First Team selection in 2018, Saggese racked up the program's second-highest single-season totals in points (63) and goals (41). His 63-point season is just one shy of Tuttle's all-time single-season 64-point record season set last year.
Off to a fast start in 2019, Saggese leads the team with 36 points this season on the strength of 21 goals and 15 assists. He has gone for at least five points in five-of-seven games thus far in 2019 and has scored five goals twice this season. Saggese leads the NEC in points (36) and goals (21) while ranking second in assists (15). His 5.20 points per game sit second in the NEC and Top 20 in the nation. He is currently on-pace to break the single-season points record at SHU.
Saggese joins a storied franchise and charter member of the MLL in the Dallas Rattlers. Formerly operating as the Rochester Rattlers, the franchise moved to Dallas for the start of the 2018 season, one in which the Rattlers advanced to the finals before falling to the Denver Outlaws. The Rattlers have advanced to the title game in three of the last four seasons (lost all three) and have one title in franchise history (2008).