April 22, 2006
SHU Hosts #11 Towson in CAA Finale ... The Sacred Heart Pioneers host the #11 Towson Tigers Saturday afternoon in the Colonial Athletic Association finale for both clubs. The Pioneers need a win to stay in the hunt for the conference tournament while the Tigers have already locked up a spot. SHU is coming off an 18-2 loss to Maryland on Tuesday while Towson has won three-straight since losing to #2 Hofstra in overtime (10-9).
The Series... The Tigers lead the series, 4-0. Towson has won every meeting since the Pioneers joined the Colonial Athletic Association in 2002. SHU gave Towson all they could handle in the first-ever meeting in 2002, falling 18-17 on Campus Field.
Up Next... The Pioneers will host the University of Hartford on Wednesday, April 26th in the regular season finale.
Last Meeting with Towson... Sophomore attackman Jonathan Engelke scored a season-high five goals as Towson University posted a 17-9 victory over Sacred Heart University on April 16, 2005. The Tigers jumped to a 4-1 lead in the opening eight minutes of the game with four players scoring a goal but the Pioneers answered with a three-goal run of their own to tie the game at 4-4 with 11:53 remaining in the second quarter. With 7:53 left in the period, the Tigers took a 5-4 lead when midfielder Todd MacMullan scored and then added another 33 seconds later to give Towson a two-goal cushion. The Pioneers cut the deficit to 7-6 by scoring two of the next three goals to end the first half with a slim 7-6 deficit. Engelke and junior Kyle Fiat scored back-to-back goals to start the third quarter, giving the Tigers a 9-6 margin. The two goals ignited a 9-2 spurt for the Tigers over the next 18 minutes, giving Towson a 16-8 lead it would not relinquish. Adams and Robideau led the Pioneers with three goals each in a losing effort. Towson goalkeeper Reed Sothoron made 14 saves in 56 minutes for the Tigers.
Scouting the Tigers... The Towson Tigers come in at 7-4 overall and 4-1 in the CAA. The Tigers are ranked 11th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 12th in the InsideLacrosse.com Media Poll this week. Towson has won three-straight, beating UMBC (8-7), Drexel (9-8) and Villanova (11-6) since suffering a 10-9 overtime loss at conference leader Hofstra at the end of March. Towson has a balance attack with four players scoring double digit goals this season. Phil Grillo has 23 goals with an assist to lead the team. Matt Eckerl is the team's top face-off man winning 114 of 203 (56.2%). Goalie Mark DeGroat leads the team with a 7.99 goals against average and 66 saves.
SHU Last Time Out... A dozen Terps scored goals in the fourth-ranked University of Maryland men's lacrosse team's 18-2 victory over Sacred Heart in Byrd Stadium. The Terrapins' starting defense unit, which dominated Johns Hopkins last Saturday, turned in a workman-like performance. Junior All-America goalie Harry Alford had to make only three saves in 30 minutes of work. The starting defense of Joe Cinosky, Ray Megill and Steve Whittenberg held the Pioneers scoreless for the first two quarters and allowed only five Sacred Heart shots. The catalyst for Maryland was an outstanding effort by its face-off men, who won 15 of 24 at the X. Senior face-off specialist David Tamberrino won 10 of 13 draws in a little over a half of work. He is now just 10 wins away from 250 for his career. For the game, Maryland outshot the Pioneers 53-21 and was just as dominating on the ground, picking up 36 groundballs to Sacred Heart's 25. The Pioneers got back-to-back goals from Peter Greco and Kevin Walker in the third quarter for their only two scores of the game.
SHU in the CAA Rankings... The Pioneers are sixth in the league in scoring with 7.83 goals per game. SHU is fifth in the rankings in assists per game (4.42 apg) and fifth in points per game (12.25 ppg). As a team, Sacred Heart is third best in the league on the penalty kill, allowing just 13 goals in 51 attempts (.745). Senior Matt Robideau is seventh in the league in scoring with 25 points (2.27 ppg). Senior Kiel Adams is 10th in goals per game (1.58 gpg). Junior Pete Greco is seventh in assists per game (0.92 apg). Robideau leads the league lead in man-up goals with six.
Robideau Scores 100 Career Points... Senior Matt Robideau became the 11th player is school history to record 100 career points after scoring a goal in last Saturday's loss at Drexel. Robideau has 66 goals and 34 assists and currently ranks 11th on the all-time list for goals scored.
CAA Playoffs... A win over Towson would put the Pioneers at 3-3 and would at worse, put them in a tie for the fourth spot in the tournament. SHU would have to wait for the results from Drexel, Delaware and Villanova. A loss would eliminate SHU for playoff contention.
2006 Schedule... The 2006 schedule features eight teams currently ranked in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse Top-20 polls. Hofstra, Maryland, UMass, Colgate, Towson and Denver are all in the top-20 while Delaware and Air Force have received votes. The Pioneers 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 102-114 (.472) 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.