Men's Lacrosse Faces Presbyterian in Home Tilt on Sunday
Setting the Scene... Originally scheduled to be played at a neutral site in Alexandria, VA, Sacred Heart takes on Presbyterian at home Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm. Due to multiple snow storms the game was ironically moved north to be played on Campus Field.
Vs. Presbyterian All-Time... This is the first ever meeting between the Pioneers and the Blue Hose. The two teams were scheduled to play in 2008 but the game was cancelled due to an ice covered Campus Field.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart lost a thrilling season opener to #17 Massachusetts on Campus Field last Friday. The Pioneers eliminated a 10-5 deficit to tie the game at 11 apiece before ultimately falling 15-12 to the Minutemen. Senior forward Timmy Katz and sophomore midfielder Matt Ferrino both recorded a hat trick for SHU. Senior Tom Trgo and sophomore Zach Frank combined to make 20 saves in between the pipes. UMass senior Bobby Hayes propelled the Minuetmen’s offense with a four goal effort.
Scouting the Blue Hose... Presbyterian returns their top three scorers and goalie from 2009. Senior Sean Mulford led the Blue Hose in points with 25, scoring 13 goals and adding 12 assists. Classmate Andrew Athens netted a team-leading 20 goals and collected four assists for the year. Junior Devin Pinkston ranked third on the team in scoring with 13 points, seven goals and six assists. In the cage, junior Jon Athens made 159 saves and played every minute in goal for PC.
Up Next... Thanks to the change in schedule the Pioneers start the season with four straight home game. Former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponent Marist visits Campus Field for a 1:00 pm showdown on Saturday February 27.
2009 in Review... Sacred Heart completed a 4-10 season in its final year in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Pioneers’ lone conference victory was an 8-7 five overtime defeat of Villanova at Campus Field on March 28. SHU took down in-state rivals Hartford, 9-8, and Quinnipiac, 12-9, on the road. Katz led the team in scoring with 28 points, including a team-high 21 goals. Dan Casciano ranked second on the team with 19 goals and seven assists for 26 total points. Zach Smith took the majority of the faceoffs for the Pioneers and picked up a team-leading 75 ground balls. Frank started 12 games in goal and posted 162 saves and a 4-9 record.
Captains... Mariano announced that seniors Nick Brink, Evan Morgan, and Peter Ridge as team captains for the 2010 season. Morgan is the second highest scoring attack from a year ago, having scored 11 goals and collected 13 assists. Both midfielders, Brink and Ridge will contribute to what could be a midfield by committe until the right combinations begin to blossom during the season.
In The Cage... Senior goalie Tom Trgo and junior Zack Frank, last season’s starter, will look to battle for time in net for the Pioneers. A year ago, Frank started 12 games between the pipes for SHU, while Trgo opened the game in net twice. Frank posted 162 saves for a .581 save percentage and Trgo provided 41 stops for a .562 save percentage.
Preseason NEILA Poll... Sacred Heart enters the season in the three way tie for the sixth spot in the NEILA Coaches’ Poll. The Pioneers are tied with Dartmouth and Quinnipiac. UMass begins the 2010 season as the top-ranked team in the. The remaining teams among the top eight are Brown, Harvard, Fairfield and Yale.
Pioneer History... This is the 20th season of men’s lacrosse at Sacred Heart. The Pioneers post a mark of 121-140 in their history. Head Coach Tom Mariano is the program’s longest tenured coach in his 13th season at the helm. SHU has left the Colonial Athletic Association and will compete as a Division I Independent in 2010. Starting next season the Pioneers will join the Northeast Conference as is adds men’s lacrosse for 2011. Prior to this season, the Pioneers spent eight seasons in the CAA and two seasons competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Five On Top... On March 28th, Sacred Heart beat Villanova, 8-7, in five overtimes in the longest game in CAA history. Sophomore goaltender Zack Frank made a school record 27 saves in the game. Sophomore Jon Flood scored the game winning goal with six seconds left in the fifth overtime.
Record Setter/Award Winner... As a sophomore, last season, Zack Frank earned Player of the Week honors from three different organizations for the week of March 23-29. Frank was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week. He also was tabbed the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Division I Player of the Week and the Turfer/New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Player of the Week. Frank made a school record 27 saves in Sacred Heart’s five overtime victory over Villanova on March 28. Fifteen of those stops came in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Pioneers protected a one goal lead and then held off a Villanova onslaught in the extra sessions. Frank made nine stops in the fourth quarter and made six saves in the five overtime sessions. He also picked up nine groundballs in the game.