April 25, 2008
Sacred Heart Pioneers (6-5, 1-4 CAA) vs. Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens (9-5, 3-2 CAA)
Game #12 - Saturday, April 26, 2008- 1:00 pm - Fairfield, Conn. - Campus Field (4,000)
SHU Hosts Delaware on "Senior Day"... The Sacred Heart Pioneers will close out the 2008 season playing host to Delaware on "Senior Day" Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers were eliminated for the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs after losing at Drexel, 15-4, last weekend while the Fightin' Blue Hens need to win on Saturday in order to secure a spot in next week's tournament. SHU has lost three-straight in CAA play, falling at #20 Hofstra, to Towson and at #14 Drexel by a combined score of 52-12. Delaware is coming off a 20-5 win over Robert Morris and have won two of their last three in conference to stay in position for a playoff berth.
The Series... The all-time series is tied at 3-3. Delaware has won three of the last four meeting after posting a 12-9 win at home last season. The Pioneers posted a 9-8 win at home in 2006. SHU took the first-ever meeting in 2002, 17-9, the Pioneer's first season in the CAA. The Pioneers won a 10-9 overtime decision the following season at Delaware. UD won the 2004 meeting 13-8 in Fairfield and the 2005 meeting 15-11 at home.
Pioneer Seniors... Sacred Heart will honor their seven graduating seniors along with their parents before today's game. Captains Tony Tanzi, Pat Healy and Ricardo Vargas along with Brett McGlensey, John Benyei, Kevin Morgan and Chris Wolpert will play their final games in a Pioneer uniform on Saturday. Tanzi is the Pioneer active career scoring leader with 41 goals, 20 assists and 61 points. Vargas posts a career 11.26 goals against average with 247 career saves and eight career wins. He ranks third all-time in career goals against average and fifth all-time in career saves. McGlensey has 89 career ground balls and 35 caused turnovers in 50 career games played. Healy has 88 career grounders and scored his first career goal this season to go with two career assists. Benyei had 42 career grounders defensively in 40 career games played. In his two years at SHU, Morgan has 22 ground ball pickups and 13 caused turnovers on defense. Wolpert has played in 23 career games and is 30-96 all-time on face-offs.
Last Meeting with Delaware... Senior All-American Alex Smith led the #18 Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens scoring a career-high three goals with an assist and won 19 of 24 face-offs on the way to a 12-9 victory over Sacred Heart before a UD season-high crowd of 1,400 fans last April. Smith had scored just one goal all season entering the game and just 14 for his career before posting his first career hat trick. The Blue Hens jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter, but Sacred Heart got a goal from Bobby Karl with just 12 seconds left in the opening period and Tony Tanzi scored with 6:43 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 3-3. Delaware scored the final four goals of the half, all in the final 6:31, to take a 7-3 lead at the break. Delaware built its biggest lead of the night at 8-3 when Smith scored right after a face-off win as he tallied his second goal just five seconds into the second half. Sacred Heart and Delaware traded goals to keep the UD lead at five at 9-4, but the Pioneers scored the final two goals of the stanza and then tallied the first of the final quarter on a goal by Evan Morgan to pull SHU to within 9-7. Delaware got some breathing room scoring just eight seconds later and Dickson and Smith scored over the next two minutes to increase the lead to 12-7. Sacred Heart pulled to within 12-9 but couldn't manage a goal after the 4:49 mark.
CAA Struggles... Since their 15-11 win over Robert Morris in the Colonial Athletic Association opener, the Pioneers have lost four-straight in league play and has seen their offense struggle in the process. The Pioneers are averaging just 4.50 goals over their last four CAA games and have been out scored 59-18 combined in their losses to Villanova, Hofstra, Towson and Drexel and 52-12 over the last three.
Connecticut Comebacks... The Pioneers own a pair of second half comeback wins this season. Both times SHU was chasing five goals to start the second half against a pair of fellow Nutmeg State schools. Sacred Heart found themselves in a 8-3 hole earlier in the season against Hartford and battled their way back to an 11-10 win thanks to sophomore Timmy Katz, who scored five of his career-high six goals in the second half. The Pioneers found themselves in the exact same position against Quinnipiac. SHU, down 8-3 at the break, rattled off eight-straight to start the second half en route to a 14-10 win. Junior Dan Casciano lead this SHU comeback, matching Katz's six goal effort with five coming the second half in the comeback.
Pioneers in the NCAA Rankings (through 4/21)... Timmy Katz ranks 42nd in the Nation in points per game and 45th in goals per game. Katz and Dan Casciano's six goal afternoons against Hartford and Quinnipiac is tied for the fifth highest number of goals scored in a game this year. The Pioneers own the 20th ranked scoring offense.
McGlensey Recognized by Inside Lacrosse... Senior defenseman Brett McGlensey was named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association team in a vote by the league's head coaches. He also garnered Preseason All-American Honorable Mention honors, announced in December.
Tanzi Earns Preseason All-New England Honors... Two-time team captain Tony Tanzi was named to the All-New England Preseason team by the region's 12 head coaches. The senior midfielder is SHU's current leading active scorer with 40 career goals and 17 career assists.
Preseason CAA Poll... The Drexel Dragons just edged out Towson University for the top-spot in this season's preseason poll. Both teams received three first place votes with the Dragon earning the top-sport with 33 points to Towson's 32. The remaining first-place vote went to defending champion Delaware, who advanced to their first-ever NCAA Final Four last season. Hofstra was picked fourth, Villanova fifth, Sacred Heart sixth and Robert Morris seventh.
Pioneer History... This is the 18th season of men's lacrosse at Sacred Heart. The Pioneers post a mark of 112-129 (.465) in their history. Head Coach Tom Mariano is the program's longest tenured coach in his 12th season at the helm. SHU begins it's seventh season of competition in the Colonial Athletic Association, one of the premier lacrosse leagues in the nation. Prior to joining the league, the Pioneers spent two seasons competing in the MAAC.