SACRED HEART (3-9) VS. Quinnipiac (3-9)
Setting the Scene… The Sacred Heart Pioneers and Quinnipiac Bobcats are set to face-off Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the final game of the regular season. Both teams come in carrying a 3-9 overall record. Quinnipiac's 2-2 record against Northeast Conference opponents has clinched them a spot in the 2012 NEC Tournament. On Saturday, the Pioneers will be honoring their nine seniors prior to the game in a Senior Night ceremony.
Last Time Out… The Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team played neck and neck with Mount St. Mary's on Saturday afternoon, but the Pioneers could not overcome the deficit caused by the Mount's five-goal third quarter and fall 8-9. Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, On.) led Sacred Heart with three goals. With the loss the Pioneers drop to 3-9 on the season. Heading into the second half down 4-5, the Mount excelled in the third quarter, outscoring the Pioneers 5-2. Mount scored three goals early giving them a one-goal lead before Gannon found the back of the net narrowing Sacred Heart's deficit. Senior Aaron Lupo(Schenectady, N.Y.) added another goal with 1:11 on the clock, but the Pioneers headed into the final quarter of the game down 7-9. The Sacred Heart defense shut down the Mount in the fourth, allowing them only one shot. Sacred Heart's Miller scored the only goal in the final 15 minutes of the game in an attempt to bring the Pioneers back on top. It was in vein as they fell 9-8 to Mount St. Mary's.
Pioneer News and Notes… Junior face-off specialist Steven Kontos (Danvers, Mass.) has dominated the face-off X as of late, winning 68.4% (13-19) last week against Mount St. Mary's and 86.9% (20-23) the week before against Wagner. Kontos currently is second in the league with a 55.8 face-of percentage… As a team, the Pioneers are second in the league in man-up goals (1.33 per game), save percentage (51.3%) and face-off percentage (55.0%)… Sophomore Matt Gannon (Huntington, N.Y.) is second in the NEC averaging 1.64 assists per game… Sacred Heart's leading scorer Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, On.) is second in the NEC with .50 man-up goals per game… Sophomore goalie Ryan Hughes (Bayport, N.Y.) owns a 52.5 save percentage seating him second in the league…
All-Time vs. Q… The Pioneers lead the all-time series that started in 1991 10-6. Last season when Sacred Heart faced-off against the Bobcats, Quinnipiac dominated the field, topping the Pioneers 18-9. The first time these teams met on April 6, 1991, SHU fell 15-3. The Pioneers have not beaten Quinnipiac since April 11, 2009 when they defeated the Bobcats by three goals, 12-9.
Last Meeting with Quinnipiac… The Pioneers scored only once in each of the first three frames, including being outscored 10-1 in the second, on their way to a third straight loss on April 23 of last year. Sacred Heart trailed 16-2 late in the third, before the offense came alive. Attack Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.) tallied his second goal on the rainy afternoon with 2:11 left in the third to awaken the Pioneer attack. Dodds' goal was the first of seven-straight for SHU, as it would open the final stanza with each of the first six goals. However, it wasn't until the 6:19 mark that the Pioneers put another one on the board when midfielder Shane Foley (South Brunswick, N.H.) found the back of the net. A little more than a minute later, attack Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.) scored his second of the day, this one on the man-up. With under three minutes to play, Dodds and Mawdsley each posted their third goal of the game, Mawdsley again on the man advantage. Sacred Heart went on to trim the Bobcat lead to 16-9 on goals by freshman long-stick Tim Caton (East Rochester, N.Y.) and junior attack Matt King (Brewster, N.Y.). The Pioneer rally was brought to a halt when Quinnipiac (5-6, 3-1 NEC) sealed the deal with scores from senior midfielder Billy Alessi and freshman attack Tom Gilligan to clinch a spot in the first-ever Northeast Conference men's lacrosse playoffs.
Scouting the Bobcats… Quinnipiac comes into the final game of the regular season carrying a 3-9 overall record and a 2-2 NEC record. The Bobcats, who have already clinched an NEC Tournament berth along with Robert Morris and Bryant, have lost their last three games. Averaging .25 man-down goals per game and a 75.0 penalty killing percentage has them seated first in the NEC in both categories. The Bobcats average 8.50 goals per game and own a 32.7 shooting percentage and 62.5 shots on goal percentage.