FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team received the No. 6 ranking in the final New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) weekly poll of the 2019 season, as announced by the committee on Monday afternoon.
The Pioneers (9-6, 4-2 NEC) completed another winning season, their second over the last three seasons, while tying the program's Div. I single-season win record and matching the Pioneers' best conference record since the NEC's founding in 2010. The Pioneers advanced to the NEC Tournament for a program record third straight season, falling to second-seed Hobart 14-13 last Thursday. Big success away from home saw SHU go 5-2 in road games in 2019, setting a Div. I single-season record for most away wins in a campaign.
|2019 NEILA Week 11 Poll|
|Rank||Team (First Place Votes)||Previous Week|
SHU's 2019 season was defined by unprecedented offensive success as the Pioneers' scoring offense ranks 10th in the nation (13.93 goals per game). The Pioneers' 209 goals scored in 15 games this season sits as the highest-scoring single-season in the program's Div. I history (since 2000). The 2019 NEC Offensive Player of the Year Joe Saggese led the Pioneer offense with a conference-record and SHU Div. I record 74-point season (44 goals, 30 assists). Max Tuttle added 58 points (39 goals, 19 assists) while Logan Liljeberg posted 44 points (24 goals, 20 assists) in leading a balanced offensive attack that stands as one of just three teams in the country to feature at least eight players with double digit goal totals.
The Pioneers had program record four All-Conference First Team honorees this season as Saggese, Tuttle, Liljeberg and Joseph Cipoletti found themselves with the All-NEC distinction. Cipoletti put together one of the best seasons for a SHU defender in program history, racking up a single-season program record 43 caused turnovers. He led the team in both ground balls (65) and caused turnovers and currently leads the nation in caused turnovers per game (3.31).
Saggese and Tuttle finished their careers as SHU's top-two all-time leaders in career points, respectively. Saggese became the first player in program history to reach the 200-point milestone as he wrapped up his four-year career with a record-setting 205 points (126 goals, 79 assists) in 59 games. Tuttle graduates as SHU's all-time leading goal scorer (134) and second all-time in career points (198).