Sacred Heart Takes on #12 Towson Tigers

Sacred Heart Takes on #12 Towson Tigers

April 5, 2007

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Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-4, 1-1 CAA) vs. Towson Tigers (5-3, 2-0 CAA)

Friday, April 6, 2007- 7:30 pm - Towson, Maryland - Minnegan Field in Johnny Unitas Stadium (11,198)

Sacred Heart Takes on #12 Towson Tigers... The Pioneers travel down to Towson University Friday night to take on the #12 ranked Tigers in Colonial Athletic Association action. SHU is 1-1 in league play as they take on the Tigers who are unbeaten in CAA play (2-0). The Pioneers dominated the first quarter against Drexel last time out but a six-goal fourth quarter sent the Dragons home with a 10-3 win. Towson posted wins over Villanova, 6-5, and Robert Morris, 16-3, but saw their three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night, falling to the #20 UMBC Retrievers.

The Series... The Tigers lead the series, 5-0. Towson has won every meeting since the Pioneers joined the Colonial Athletic Association in 2002. Last year, the Tigers made the trip up north and came away with a 14-5 win on Campus Field. SHU gave Towson all they could handle in the first-ever meeting in 2002, falling 18-17 on Campus Field.

Up Next... Sacred Heart is right back in action on Wednesday afternoon, April 11th, hosting Hofstra on Campus Field at 3:30 pm.

Last Meeting with Towson... Towson got three goals apiece from seniors Kyle Fiat and Phil Grillo and sophomore Brian Vetter as the #11 Tigers posted a 14-5 win over Sacred Heart. The Pioneers finished the CAA schedule. The Tigers dominated offensively throughout, ringing up 61 shots to Sacred Heart's 26. Towson used 4-0 runs to start the first, second and third quarter on the way to victory. Towson's Grillo added an assist to his three goals for four points on the day. Goalkeeper Mark DeGroat made five saves in earning the win for the Tigers. Leading the way for SHU was Kiel Adams who scored twice and Bobby Karl who passed out two assists. SHU seniors Thomas Hind and Jim Millhausen split time in goal for Sacred Heart, recording 11 and 10 saves, respectively.

CAA Rankings... The Sacred Heart offense is ranked 2nd in the Colonial Athletic Association in assists per game (5.17), 3rd in points per game (13.83) and 4th in goals per game (8.67). The Pioneers rank 3rd in shot percentage (.259), 4th in man-up goals (8), 3rd in ground balls per game (31.33), 2nd in saves per game (11.33) and 4th in face-off % (.562). Senior Peter Greco and freshman Evan Morgan are tied for 3rd in assists per game at 1.17 per game. Greco is 4th in points per game (2.33). Junior Ricardo Vargas is the league leader in saves per game (10.83) and is 5th in save percentage (.542) and 6th in goals against average (10.07). Sophomore Zack Smith is 5th in the CAA in face-off percentage (.583) and 4th in ground balls per game (4.67).

Pioneers in the NCAA Rankings... Through games played as of April 1st, the Pioneers were ranked 14th in the nation in face-off %. Pioneers Peter Greco and Zach Smith are also in the national rankings. Smith is 12th in face-off winning % and 22nd ground balls per game. Greco's six assists against Wagner ties him for 2nd for the single game high for assists this year. The Pioneers 22 goals against the Seahawks was the 2nd highest scoring total this year, behind Delaware's 23 goals against St. Joseph's.

Greco Sets School Record... Senior Peter Greco established a new Sacred Heart record for assists in a game when he passed out six in SHU's win over Wagner. The senior distributed assists to five different players as the Pioneers posted their biggest win in five years, earning him CAA Co-Player of the Week honors. 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.

Strength of CAA Lacrosse... The 2007 season is in full swing with the Colonial Athletic Association once again showing it's 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 and NIKE/InsideLacrosse media poll, Towson is #12 and Delaware is #14. In the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll, Towson is #13 with Delaware in at #14. Drexel is receiving votes in both polls while Villanova was among teams getting votes in the USILA poll and Hofstra in the Nike poll.

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 104-120 (.464) 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. Prior to joining the league, the Pioneers spent two seasons competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.