Pioneers Take on Marist in Home Opener Sunday Afternoon

Tom Sardelli (36)

SACRED HEART (0-1) VS. MARIST (0-0)

Game 02 * Sunday, Feburary 25, 2012 * 1:00 pm * Campus Field

Live Stats * Live Video

Setting the Scene...  The Pioneers will open the home portion of their 2012 schedule on Sunday afternoon, welcoming the Marist Red Foxes of the MAAC to Campus Field.  SHU is looking to rebound off a hard fought 11-9 loss at 14th ranked Hofstra last Saturday.  The Red Foxes open their season on Sunday and start with four-straight on the road to begin 2012.  The Pioneers will face the MAAC once more this season when they host Manhattan on March 10th.

Last Time Out... Sacred Heart featured a balanced offensive attack with eight different Pioneers finding the back of the cage but came up short of a season-opening upset falling 10-9 at #14 ranked Hofstra last week.  SHU stood toe-to-toe with the ranked Pride and sat tied 5-5 at the half but a Hofstra four-goal third quarter was too much to overcome en route to the loss.  SHU goalkeeper Zach Frank turned in 11 saves in cage for SHU.  Sophomore Cody Marquis led the Pioneers with a goal and two assists while sophomore Tom Sardelli was the only Pioneer to score twice.  SHU outshot the Pride 33-30 in the loss.

All-Time vs. Marist... The Pioneers own a 8-3 record in the all-time series with the Red Foxes. After an overtime loss in 2010 that snapped a four-game SHU winning streak in the series, the Pioneers anwered with 9-8 overtime win of their own last spring.  The Pioneers have won five of the last six meetings with 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.

Scouting the Red Foxes...  Marist men's lacrosse was tabbed to finish third in the seven team Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 2012.  The Red Foxes finished last season 8-7 overall and 4-2 in the MAAC.  Juniors Connor Rice, Ethan Fox and Jim Marks were all selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Team.  Rice was named a Preseason All-American by 2012 Face-Off Yearbook coming off a sophomore season where he put 28 goals and 27 assists on the board to lead his team.  Fox is the team's top-returning defenseman, registering 24 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers last spring.  In the midfield, Marks scored 22 goals with five assists last season.  He had three game-winners on the season.

Last Meeting with Marist...  The Pioneers avenged a 2010 overtime loss at the hands of Marist with a 9-8 OT victory on the road against the Red Foxes last spring.  Mike Mawdsley posted the game-winner, his fourth goal of the day, as he snagged the ball out of midair, in front of the cage, and quickly snapped it into the net with just 26 seconds remaining in the extra frame. The Pioneers trailed 7-5 late in the third, until Mawdsley brought them within one on a man-up goal.  Bryan Badolato tied the game at seven, midway through the fourth and Mawdsley put them on top just 15 seconds later. Marist's Aedan Herman brought the teams back to even, on a man-up opportunity, with 4:08 remaining to force overtime. In the first quarter, Mawdsley recorded his first collegiate goal, the only score for either side in the period. SHU went up 3-0 off goals from Trevor Dauses and Cody Marquis in the early moments of the second. After the Red Foxes posted their first score of the day, freshman Tim Caton and Badolato extended the Pioneer lead to 5-1. In the second half, Marist came out hot and tallied five straight scores to go up 7-5. SHU's Zack Frank came up with 14 saves in the win while Brendan Price stopped 11 shots for the Red Foxes.

Around the NEC...  The Robert Morris Colonials received votes in this week's USILA Top-20 Coaches' Poll after a 2-0 start with wins over Bellarmine and UMBC.  Bryant is 1-1 to start the year and are coming off a win over St. Joseph's, 11-7.  Mount St. Mary's and Quinnipiac open their seasons this weekend with the Mount traveling to #16 ranked Delaware and the Bobcats playing host to Brown.

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