March 26, 2009
Sacred Heart and Villanova Meet Under the Lights... Sacred Heart takes on Villanova in another CAA match-up Saturday at Campus Field. The game will be played under the lights, a first in SHU lacorsse history, with opening face-off set for 7:00 pm. The Pioneers are coming off a one goal defeat at the hands of Hofstra last week while Villanova beat Delaware by a goal in their CAA opener last week in Philadelphia.
The Series... Villanova leads the all-time series, 9-1. Sacred Heart snapped an eight-game Wildcat winning streak in the series in 2007 with a 15-14 win in the season finale at home . The Wildcats and Pioneers have met each season dating back to 1999. SHU is 1-4 at home and 0-5 at Villanova.
Last Meeting... Villanova's Paul Webber scored four of his six goals in the second half including the game-wineer with 33 seconds left to lift the Wildcats past visiting Sacred Heart, 7-6, last year. The Wildcat defense held the Pioneer's league leading offense (12.33 gpg) to just six goals on 14 total shots. SHU's Timmy Katz led the Pioneers with three goals and an assist in the loss.
SHU Falls Short in Upset Bid... The Pioneers lost their CAA opener to Hofstra, falling 6-5 Saturday at Campus Field. It was the closest SHU has come to beating Hofstra in the team's eight meetings all-time. Junior Timmy Katz scored four of SHU's five goals to extend his team leading total to 14 on the season. The four goals are the most for a Pioneer in a single game this season. Dennis Gannon scored the only other goal for SHU. Sophomore Zack Frank made a season high 13 saves on 19 shots on goal to keep his team in the game. Senior Zack Smith won 11 of 14 face-offs on the afternoon.
Katz Leading the Offense... After being one of the top attackers last season, Junior Timmy Katz has picked up right where he left off. Katz leads the Pioneer attack with 14 goals and three assists on the year. He earned CAA Player of the Week honors on March 10 after scoring the overtime game-winner against Hartford. He scored four of SHU's five goals in one goal loss against Hofstra on March 21.
Tough D... The Pioneer defense has done well in not allowing many second opportunities this year. Sacred Heart leads the CAA in ground balls per game, averaging 34.43 per contest. The Pioneers are also second in caused turnovers, racking up nine per game. SHU also leads the league in saves per game, averaging 13.57 per game as a team Senior Shawn McDonough will be the key cog in the Pioneers defensive alignment. McDonough, who started all but one game for SHU in 2008 was second on the team with 35 groundballs. Sophomore Zack Frank has emerged as the number one goaltender for the Pioneers.
Scouting the Wildcats... Villanova is the hottest team in the CAA early on, having won six of their first seven contests, including edging Delaware, 5-4, in their conference opener at home last week. The Wildcats are ranked 19th in this week's USILA poll. A somewhat balanced Wildcat attack has Tim Driscoll having scored a team leading 14 goals on the year. Paul Webber is second on the team with nine goals and 10 assists, 19 points on the year. The Wildcats are strong on defense, as goaltender Andrew DiLoreto leads the league in goals against average (5.51) and save percentage (.604).
Up Next... Sacred Heart opens a four game road trip Wednesday afternoon at Manhattan College and will visit CAA rival Towson on Saturday.