FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Sacred Heart University men's lacrosse team visits Marist for its first road contest of the 2011 season with a 1:00 pm face-off on Saturday afternoon.
About the Pioneers... SHU opened its season by hosting #9 Hofstra at Campus Field last weekend. The Pioneers got off to a quick start and held a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Pride tied the game at three before the half, and used a 5-2 fourth quarter to produce the separation needed to leave Fairfield with a 10-6 win. Junior attack Matt King tallied two scores for SHU, while sophomore attack Bryan Badolato dished out a pair of assists. Badolato is the team's top returning scorer coming off a freshman campaign that saw him earn a spot on the Northeast Conference All-Rookie team after scoring eight goals and picking up three assists. Senior goalie Zach Frank made his return to the cage, after missing most of 2010, and came away with eight saves and picked up a team-high four groundballs. In 2009, Frank stopped 168 shots and held a 10.27 goals against average between the pipes.
Scouting the Red Foxes... Marist dropped its season opener to Delaware, 8-7, on the road last weekend. Senior attack Corey Zindel scored twice in the loss for the Red Foxes. Sophomore attack Connor Rice and graduate student Bob Van Hoffmann each scored and picked up an assist. Between the pipes, sophomore goalie Brendan Price came up with 10 saves, while allowing eight goals. A year ago, Rice was the team's leading goal scorer with 32 to go with 15 assists. Zindel led the 8-7 Red Foxes with 56 total points on 25 goals and a team-best 31 helpers. Zindel was a 1st Team All-MAAC selection, while Rice was named to the 2nd.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart continues to give Hofstra fits within the confines of Campus Field. The Pioneers led 3-1 after the first and were tied 5-5 with 10 minutes to play, but the Pride turned it on let and pulled away with a 10-6 win. Freshman attack Cody Marquis opened the game by netting his first career goal on a man-up opportunity. King scored two goals on the day, his first of which put Sacred Heart up 3-1 in the first. Hofstra scored two unanswered goals in the second to tie the game heading into the locker room. In the third, junior midfielder Parker Wilson scored to put SHU back on top, only to see the Pride take its first lead of the day with two scores in the frame. Early in the fourth, King posted his second of the game to tie the score at five. Hofstra regained the lead two minutes later and didn't look back as it rattled off five goals in seven minutes. Graduate student Steve Serling dished out four assists and scored a hat trick of his own. Senior Stephen Bentz also recorded a hat trick and picked up one assist. Frank made eight saves for the Pioneers, while Pride goalie Andrew Gvozden stopped seven shots.
Last Time They Met... Early in the 2010 season, Marist pulled out an 11-10 overtime victory at Campus Field. Corey Zindel netted the game winner 2:09 into the extra frame. The game was back-and-forth throughout, featuring seven ties. Tim Russo gave Sacred Heart the lead as he broke a 9-9 tie with 3:15 left to play. Less than a minute later Matt Teichmann forced overtime with his third score of the day. Ryan Sharkey led the Red Fox attack with four goals. Jon Flood recorded a hat trick for the Pioneers. In goal for Sacred Heart, Tom Trgo made 18 saves.
All-Time vs. Marist... The Pioneers own a 7-3 record in the all-time series with the Red Foxes. Prior to last season's overtime loss, SHU had won four straight against Marist. The two teams met for the first time in 1995, with the Red Foxes winning on the road, 19-12. The Pioneers have never lost back-to-back games in the series.
On This Date... Sacred Heart has played once on this date, an 8-7 overtime loss at Colgate in 2005. The Pioneers got two goals and two assists from Kiel Adams in the loss. SHU led 6-3 after the third, but were outscored 4-1 in the fourth period.
Return to the Net... Zach Frank started 12 games, while appearing in all 14, as a sophomore in 2009. In net, he totaled 168 saves, the fourth most in a single season by a Pioneer goalie, and sported a 10.30 gaa and .581 save percentage. For the week of March 23-29, Frank earned player of the week honors from three separate organizations. He made a school-record 27 saves in Sacred Heart's epic five overtime victory over Villanova on March 28. Fifteen of those stops came in the fourth quarter and overtime. For his efforts, Frank was named the CAA, Nike/Inside Lacrosse Division I, and Turfer/NEILA Player of the Week. He also picked up nine groundballs in the win over Nova.
Up Next... Sacred Heart returns home for a pair of games as it hosts Dartmouth at 12:00 pm on March 5 and Mercer, who is competing at the Division I level for the first season, at 3:00 pm on March 8.
New Era for Men's Lax... While the Northeast Conference is celebrating its 30th season during the 2010-'11 academic year, this is the first season that men's lacrosse will officially be recognized as a conference sport.