FAIRFIELD, CT (February 17, 2012) - The 2012 Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team will kick-off the season on Saturday afternoon taking on the #14 ranked Hofstra Pride Saturday afternoon at James M. Shuart Stadium. The Pride have won each of the 10 meetings between the two schools and posted a 10-6 win last season in Fairfield.
Head Coach Tom Mariano, beginning his 15th season on the Sacred Heart bench, earned his 100th career victory last season has his Pioneers set to open play for their second season in the Northeast Conference. SHU was picked to finish fifth in the NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll released last week. The Pioneers, who were 4-9 in 2011 and 1-4 in the league, return eight starters to the field this season. SHU will be led by captains grad students Zack Frank (Islip Terrace, NY) and Billy Skelos (Lynbrook, NY) and seniors Aaron Lupo (Schenectady, NY) and Rock Tate (Lantana, FL) and junior Trevor Dauses (Glen Arm, MD) this season.
Sophomore Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.) returns to lead the attack after leading the Pioneers in scoring in 2011. The NEC All-Rookie pick tallied 28 goals and 10 assists as a freshman. He scored seven man-up goals on the year, third among NEC leaders. He finished the season ranked sixth in the NEC both goals and points per game. Classmate Cody Marquis (Londonderry, NH) also returns to the attack and was third on the team with 17 points in 2011. Marquis scored five goals and dished out 12 assists.
NEC Rookie of the Year Tim Caton (East Rochester, NY) returns to the line-up. He registered five goals and picked up 43 ground balls while causing a team-high 14 turnovers from him midfield position. He also earned a spot on the NEC All-Rookie team. Sophomore Alex Miller (Ridgewood, NJ) finished last spring fourth on the team in scoring with five goals and nine helpers from his midfield spot.
Frank will anchor the Pioneer defense from the cage. He played the majority of minutes in 2011 and registered an 11.79 goals against average with 156 saves. He also had 28 ground ball pick-ups. Franks was tops in the NEC averaging 12.00 saves per game.
Junior Stephen Kontos (Danvers, MA) was the Pioneers top-man on face-offs, winning 149 of 276 taken (53.9%). Kontos led SHU with 68 ground balls and also scored a goal and passed out a pair of assists. He ranked third in the league in ground balls per game (5.23)
After facing the Pride, the Pioneers will host Marist in the 2012 home opener on Campus Field, Sunday, February 26th at 1:00 pm.