FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Sacred Heart hits the road for a 1:00 pm contest at Manhattan at Gaelic Park on Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers evened their record at 2-2 following a 17-7 win over Mercer at Campus Field, Tuesday afternoon.
About the Pioneers... Sophomore attack Bryan Badolato leads SHU in scoring with 15 total points on eight goals and a team-high seven assists, surpassing both his assist and point totals from his rookie campaign. Freshman attack Mike Mawdsley is the Pioneer's top goal scorer with nine, while also chipping in with a pair of assists to sit second in points at 11. In the cage, senior goalie Zach Frank owns a 8.85 goals against average and 5.98 save percentage, on 49 saves. Sophomore midfielder Stephen Kontos has picked up a team-best 24 groundballs and is 52-22 in the face-off circle, earning a win percentage of .703.
Scouting the Jaspers... Manhattan fell to 0-6 on the season with a 10-3 loss to #11 Johns Hopkins. The Jaspers have faced three opponents ranked in the top 20 already this season, including #17 Denver and #19 Rutgers. Senior Justin Jensen leads Manhattan with 10 total points on six goals and four assists. Junior Brendan Rogers and sophomore Tyler Jarvis are tied with Jensen for the team-lead in goals at six. Freshman goalkeeper Rich Akapnitis has started five of six games and holds a 10.20 GAA and .579 save percentage. He also leads the team with 19 groundballs.
Last Time Out... After playing a conservative brand of lacrosse in the first quarter, the Sacred Heart offense came to life in a 17-7 win over Mercer, at Campus Field, Tuesday afternoon. In a rare midweek afternoon game, the Pioneers earned their first home win of the season behind a four-goal effort from Badolato. Five minutes into the second, SHU went up 6-0. In that span, sophomore midfielder Shane Foley picked up his first career goal as well as an assist. The Bears cut the lead to 6-3 early in the third quarter, but Badolato pushed the lead back to four as he recorded his first career hat trick. He posted his fourth of the day just one minute later. The Pioneer offense continued to pour in the goals as sophomore midfielder Tim Sanders picked up a groundball, off a face-off win by Kontos, and went in for the score. Sacred Heart would score twice more, including one man-up score, before Mercer stopped the SHU run. Nineteen seconds after the Bears scored on the man advantage, senior midfielder Billy Skelos found the back of the net for a man-down score. Frank started in goal and came up with 12 saves, while allowing six goals. Freshman Alex Dvoretsky and Ryan Hughes each made their collegiate debut in goal during the second half. For the game, SHU outshot the Bears 53-28 and held a 55-36 lead in groundballs.
Last Time They Met... The Pioneers dug themselves a six-goal hole early, with the Jaspers scoring each of the first six and holding a 7-1 lead in the second quarter. Sacred Heart's offense was at its best once Matt Ferrino tallied a pair of man-up goals and Jon Flood added a score, all in a one minute window. The Pioneers scored five of the last seven goals, but it wasn't enough, as Tyler Jensen and Joe Variano each found the back of the net to eliminate any chance of SHU pulling even. Timmy Katz scored twice for the Pioneers, while Evan Morgan scored once and added an assist.
All-Time vs. Manhattan... Despite falling in last season's contest between these two schools, Sacred Heart still owns a 7-5 edge in the all-time series. In the first meeting, the Pioneers won 14-5 on March 24, 1999. The last SHU win came on March 5, 2008, 14-6.
Weekly Honors... Freshman attack Mike Mawdsley received a pair of weekly awards for his four-goal effort at Marist last week. First he was named the Enterprise Rent-A-Car/Sacred Heart Student-Athlete of the Week and was later named the NEILA/Skor Sports Player of the Week by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association for the week ending February 27.
Top 50 (as of 3/7)... Senior goalie Zach Frank ranks for 22nd in save percentage at .578 and also ranks 32nd in the nation for goals against with an average of 8.83. In scoring, freshman Mike Mawdsley is among a large number of players tied for 31st at 2.33 goals per game and is tied for 11th with a .500 shot percentage. Sophomore Bryan Badolato sits in a tie for 8th at 2.00 assists per per and 35th with 3.33 points per game. Freshman Tim Caton and sophomore Stephen Kontos are tied for 37th in groundballs with 4.67 per game. Kontos also ranks 14th in face-offs with a .620 win percentage. Fellow sophomore Nick Soubry finds himself tied with many other defenseman for 15th in caused turnovers at 2.00 per game.
Up Next... The Pioneers return home to take on #17 Devner on Campus Field at 12:00 pm on Saturday March 19.