March 9, 2007

Pioneers Hit the Road for Four-Straight starting Saturday at Manhattan

March 9, 2007

Sacred Heart vs. Manhattan Game Notes in PDF Format
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Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-1, 0-0 CAA) vs. Manhattan Jaspers (1-1, 0-0 MAAC)

Saturday, March 10, 2007- 1:00 pm - Ossining, New York - Ossining High School

Sacred Heart Takes on Manhattan Jaspers... The Sacred Heart Pioneers take to the road for the next four games starting Saturday afternoon against Manhattan College. The Pioneers and Jaspers have met each season since 1999. The four-game road swing will take SHU away from Campus Field until March 31st with stops against the Jaspers, Binghamton, UMass and Robert Morris. Saturday's game will be played at Ossining High School in Ossining, New York where SHU head coach Tom Mariano played his high school lacrosse.

The Series... The Pioneers are 6-2 all-time versus Manhattan. The Jaspers posted a 6-5 come from behind win on March 4th last season in Fairfield. The Jaspers erased a three-goal fourth quarter deficit en route to the win. The previous Manhattan win came during the 2004 season also at SHU. The first-ever meeting took place during the 1999 season with the Pioneers earning the win at home that set off a five-game win streak in the series.

Up Next... The Pioneers will continue their four game road trip on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th at Binghamton. Game time is slated for 1:00 pm.

Last Meeting with Manhattan... Manhattan erased a three goal fourth quarter deficit to force overtime and Greg Lewis notched the game-winner with 1:21 left to lift the Jaspers to a 6-5 win over Sacred Heart. The Jaspers out shot SHU 11-4 over the first 15 minutes but failed to convert on three man-up opportunities. The Pioneers struggled clearing the ball and had nine turnovers but made the most of their four shots, leading 2-0 after one. The Pioneers tacked another one on in the second and led 3-2 at the break. SHU lead 5-2 in the fourth but went cold and the Jaspers began to mount their comeback. Manhattan tied the game at 5-5 as the game went to OT. SHU got a great opportunity just 15 seconds into overtime with a man-up opportunity, but managed just one shot. The Pioneers would never get the ball back offensively. Manhattan's Murray made a perfect pass to a cutting Lewis who buried the ball in the back of the net with 1:21 on the clock for the 6-5 win. Peter Greco finished with three points for Sacred Heart on a goal and three assists.

Scouting the Jaspers... The Manhattan Jasper men's lacrosse team is off to a 1-1 start after falling to CAA member Delaware, 20-5, in the season opener and rebounding with an 8-7 overtime win at Bellarmine last time out. Senior attacker Brian Murray is off to a hot start with five goals and four assists in the first two outings. Sophomore attackman Marc Labelle has three goals, two man-up, in the early going. The Jaspers have struggled on the face-off `X', winning just eight of 48 face-offs. Sophomore John Geagan has played every minute in goal, notching 30 saves.

Greco Named CAA Co-Player of the Week... Senior Peter Greco scored a team-high seven points on a goal and a school record six assist as SHU rolled past Wagner College, 22-5. The senior distributed assists to five different players as the Pioneers posted their biggest win in five years. Greco's six helpers breaks the record of five held by Mike Robel versus Drexel in 2002 and SHU assistant coach Chris Lukowski versus Dowling in 1996.

Offensive Explosion... The Pioneers picked up their first win of 2006, beating Wagner 22-5, their largest margin of victory since the 2002 season. SHU's offense was led by 15 different Pioneers who scored goals in the win. Fifteen of the Pioneer's 22 goals were assisted as SHU posted it's biggest win since beating the Seahawks 22-4 in 2002. Freshman Timmy Katz, Dan Mesler, John Flood and Stephen Gerhard all scored their first collegiate goals.

Tanzi Breaks into Scoring Column... Junior captain Tony Tanzi, shutout in the loss at Colgate, got into the scoring column posting a game-high three goals in the win over the Seahawks. Tanzi picked-up a game-high six grounders and now leads the team with nine on the year..

Strength of CAA Lacrosse... The 2007 season is just underway but the Colonial Athletic Association is showing early signs of being a force across the national lacrosse landscape. The league has three teams ranked in this week's national lacrosse polls. In the USILA coaches poll, Delaware is #10, Towson is #11 and Hofstra in among teams receiving votes. In the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll, Delaware is the #11 team with the Tigers coming in at #13. In the early going, all seven team currently at .500 or better on the year with two undefeated teams in Delaware (5-0) and Towson (2-0).

Preseason CAA Poll... The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens received six first place votes to earn the top spot in the 2007 CAA Preseason Coaches Poll. The Towson Tigers received the other first place vote and were picked second. Defending champion Hofstra was tabbed third followed by Villanova and Drexel. The Pioneers were picked sixth and Robert Morris rounded out the field in seventh.

2007 Schedule... The Pioneers have put together a competitive 13 game schedule in 2007 featuring four games against teams ranked in the USILA Preseason Coaches Top-20. In non-league action, SHU will take on Colgate, Wagner, Manhattan, Binghamton, UMass and Hartford. The 2007 CAA Tournament will take place on May 2nd and 5th.

2007 Team Captains... Four seniors and a junior will captain the 2007 Pioneers. Senior attackers Peter Greco and Rory Morse, senior midfielder Casey Kirch, senior defender Pat Healy and junior midfield Tony Tanzi were voted team captains by their teammates.

Pioneer History... This is the 17th season of men's lacrosse at Sacred Heart. The Pioneers post a mark of 103-117 (.468) in their 17 year history. Head Coach Tom Mariano is the program's longest tenured coach in his 11th season at the helm. SHU begins it's sixth season of competition in the Colonial Athletic Association, one of the premier lacrosse leagues in the NCAA. Prior to joining the league, the Pioneers spent two seasons competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.