Pioneers Drop Hard-Fought Decision To #20 St. Joseph's

Pioneers Drop Hard-Fought Decision To #20 St. Joseph's

The Sacred Heart University men's lacrosse team dropped its Northeast Conference Tournament game to 20th ranked Saint Joseph's University, 11-9, Thursday on Sean Sweeney Field. The Pioneers end the 2018 season at 7-8, while the Hawks advance to Saturday's Championship Game at 11-3.

Joe Saggese led the Pioneers offense with two goals and an assist, for three points. Trevor Johnson and Logan Liljeberg also both tallied two goals on the afternoon.

The Pioneers earned their second consecutive NEC Tournament berth and third in five seasons under head coach Jon Basti.

Turning Point

  • Joe Saggese tied the score with 68 seconds remaining in the third quarter, 8-8
  • After a stop on the Hawks first possession of the fourth-quarter, SHU had a long offensive possession that came away empty
  • A turnover at the top of the box led to a fast break tally from Mike Restivo that put the Hawks in front 9-8
  • Julian Garritano moved the Pioneers back within one, 10-9 with 3:12 to play, but SHU could not find the equalizer one last time

First Quarter

  • SJU opened the scoring 48 seconds into the game, on a Kyle Cain tally
  • The Pioneers equaled the score at the 9:29 mark as Max Tuttle fed Trevor Johnson
  • The Hawks tallied the next three goals to build a 4-1 advantage at the end of the first quarter

Second Quarter

  • Tuttle found the back of the net with 7:38 to play in the quarter, bringing SHU within two, 4-2
  • Will McNamara scored in transition 38 seconds later for the Hawks
  • Joe Saggese put home a shot from Reed Avveduti for a man-up goal at 2:57
  • Chris Blewitt answered 29 seconds later for the Hawks

Third Quarter

  • The Pioneers won the third-quarter 5-2
  • Logan Liljeberg scored twice in the first 99 seconds of the third quarter, bringing SHU within a goal 6-5
  • After another Pioneer face-off win, St. Joe's goalie Mike Adler made a stop and hit Will McNamara in transition, leading to a fast break goal
  • Johnson scored his second of the season at 11:33, to put the Pioneers back within a tally, 7-6
  • Avveduti tied the score with 7:51 to play in the third quarter, capping a 4-1 Pioneer run to open the quarter
  • Shane Fable put the Hawks back in front, 8-7, at the 5:27 mark of the quarter
  • Saggese went low with a TJ Fitzell pass after a Dutton save, tying the score 8-8 with 68 ticks remaining

Fourth Quarter

  • The Hawks scored in transition, after a long Pioneer possession, when Blewitt found Chris Restivo on the crease
  • Blewitt finished his hat trick to the far post, netting a pass from Restivo with 8:07 to play in the regular season
  • Garritano netted a pass from Saggese to make it 10-9, with 3:12 to play
  • Nicholas Vernacchio slipped his defender on the goal line and went high with 1:42 to play

By The Numbers

  • Jake Giaquinto went 10-18 at the face-off X for the Pioneers, picking up a team-best five ground balls
  • Brooks Dutton made nine saves in net for the Pioneers
  • Matt Caracappa had a pair of caused turnovers, as well as a ground ball
  • Both teams won 12 face-offs on the afternoon, with the Pioneers going 5-8 in the third quarter
  • The game was equal in shots, 31-31, with SHU holding an 18-17 advantage in the second-half
  • The Pioneers committed just nine turnovers
  • Blewitt led all scorers with four points, on three goals and an assist
  • Davis Stoner had six ground balls for the Hawks
  • Billy Jardeleza was 11-22 at the face-off X for St. Joseph's