March 11, 2006
Pioneers Face #12 Denver... The Pioneers continue their Rocky Mountain road trip Sunday afternoon when they travel to Denver to face the 12th-ranked Pioneers. SHU is 0-3 to start the year and coming off an 11-9 loss at Air Force on Friday afternoon. Denver is 3-1 to start the year, rebounding from a 13-7 loss to Virginia in the season opener with three-straight wins.
The Series... Denver leads the all-time series, 2-0. The Pioneers have won both meetings in Fairfield, posting a 12-6 win in the first meeting in 2004 and a 19-7 victory last season.
Up Next... The Pioneers return home to host the Binghamton Bearcats on Saturday, March 18th. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Last Meeting with Denver... University of Denver senior Matt Brown scored seven goals to lead the Pioneers to a 19-7 win over Sacred Heart University on March 26, 2005. Denver led 8-4 at the half and cemented the win with an eight goal third quarter. Denver struck first but Sacred Heart came right back and answered with three-straight to take a 3-1 lead with 6:26 to play. UD's Brown struck for his first, man-up, with 3:48 left in the quarter to bring the Pioneers to within 3-2. That's where the tide would turn for Sacred Heart as Denver closed out the quarter scoring three goals in the span of 24 seconds, to lead 5-3 after one. SHU cut the that would be as close as the Pioneers would come as Denver ripped off nine-straight goals spanning the second and third quarters to take command en route to victory. Denver closed the third with two more tallies and then opened the fourth with three-straight, including Brown's seventh, as their lead peaked at 19-5. Denver out shot Sacred Heart 37-14 after three periods and 42-24 on the day.
Scouting the Pioneers... The Denver Pioneers are 3-1 to start 2006, winning three-straight heading into Sunday's game. The Pioneers own a pair of 10 point scorers in Brad Richardson and Geoff Snider. Richardson has eight goals and two assists while Snider has six scores and four helpers. As a team, Denver averages 12.75 goals per game. The Pioneers are ranked 12th in the Inside Lacrosse.com Media Poll and 13th in the USILA STX Coaches Poll. SHU Last Time Out... The Pioneer men's lacrosse team mounted a late fourth quarter rally but fell just short as the Air Force Falcons posted an 11-9 win Friday afternoon. Air Force dominated the first period, rolling out to a 5-0 lead. SHU freshman Bobby Karl notched his first collegiate goal to open the second period and then the two teams continued to trade goals as the Falcons went into the locker room with a 7-3 advantage. A pair of goals by Air Force to begin the third stanza helped the Falcons increase their lead to 9-3, but the Pioneers rattled off two more scores within a span of 20 seconds to cut the margin to four. Peter Greco tallied his fifth of the year at 8:21 followed by fellow Brendan McAuley's first career score at 8:02 to pull SHU to within 9-5. Air Force struck again for a 10-5 advantage, but Sacred Heart was not done fighting. The Pioneers closed the half with three unanswered scores on Karl's third, Greco's second and an unassisted marker from Tony Tanzi to rally within 10-8. Tanzi struck again unassisted with 11:21 in the fourth to pull the Pioneers to within 10-9 but the Falcons added an insurance goal at the 3:44 mark in the fourth quarter and held on for the 11-9 decision.
Offensive Options... Sacred Heart has had four players score multiple goals in their first three games and nine different goal scorers overall. Junior Peter Greco has 10 points in two games this year followed by senior Kiel Adams with six points. Greco an Early Offensive Spark... Junior Peter Greco scored three goals with an assist in the opener versus Colgate and had a goal with two helpers last time out against Manhattan. He scored a pair and assisted on another in the loss to Air Force.
Fresh Debut... Freshman Bobby Karl had a breakout game offensively on Friday, scoring three goals and assisting on another to lead SHU with four points. Through the first two games Karl had managed just two shots total.
Face-off... Freshman Zach Smith gave the Pioneers a spark on the face-off against Manhattan. Smith took 11 draws, winning eight with four grounders in his first action of the season. Sophomore Tony Tanzi has been solid as well, winning seven of 11 against the Falcons. He is 14 out of 30 on the year.
2006 Schedule... The Pioneers will play a 14 game schedule in 2006 that features seven teams currently ranked in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse Top-20 polls. Maryland (#1), UMass (#7), Delaware (#11), Denver (#13), Hofstra (#15) and Towson (#16) were all ranked in this week's poll with Colgate and Hofstra also receiving votes. SHU opens the 6 game CAA schedule on March 25th hosting new member Robert Morris. The Pioneers will play Maryland and Binghamton for the first time in school history.
Pioneer History... This is the 16th season of men's lacrosse at Sacred Heart. The Pioneers post a mark of 100-107 (.483) in their 16 year history. Head Coach Tom Mariano is the program's longest tenured coach in his 10th season at the helm. SHU begins it's fifth 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.