Men's Lacrosse Prepares For St. Joseph's In NEC Semifinal

Men's Lacrosse Prepares For St. Joseph's In NEC Semifinal

Game Notes

The Sacred Heart University men's lacrosse team will take on top-seed and host St. Joseph's University Thursday at 1 p.m. in the first semifinal of the Northeast Conference Tournament. The game will be played at Sean Sweeney Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

Tournament Information

  • #3 Bryant will take on second-seeded Robert Morris in the second semifinal, scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday
  • The semifinal winners face off on Saturday at noon in the Championship Game, with the winner earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament
  • Admission to all games of the NEC Tournament is free, but there is a parking fee at the championship of $10 per car
  • Fans can watch all three games of the tournament free of charge via NEC Front Row
  • Livestats will be available as well courtesy of St. Joseph's athletics

SHU vs. St. Joseph's

  • Thursday's meeting marks the 10th time the two squads will meeet, with the Hawks holding a 6-3 series advantage, with a 5-2 edge at the Division I level
  • St. Joseph's defeated the Pioneers 14-12 when the two teams met at Sweeney Field on March 17
  • SHU was the victor when the teams met in 2017, earning a 12-11 overtime win on Campus Field
  • Game-by-Game Results
    • 2018; Away, L, 14-12
    • 2017; Home, W, 11-10 (ot)
    • 2016; Away, L, 16-6
    • 2015; Home, L, 13-8
    • 2014; Away, L, 21-9
    • 2001; Away, W, 16-9
    • 2000; Home, L, 18-16
    • 1994; Away, L, 13-8
    • 1993; Away, W, 8-5

Last Time Out

  • Sacred Heart closed out the regular season with a win at Hobart, 10-6, clinching an NEC Tournament berth in the process
  • The Pioneers broke a 2-2 tie midway through the first quarter with three striaght goals, building to a 7-4 halftime lead
  • Max Tuttle led the way scoring four times, with a hat trick in the opening quartertied a season-high with seven points on three goals 
  • Brooks Dutton stopped 14 shots on the afternoon 
  • Joseph Cipoletti helped secure the win with four caused turnovers and four ground balls

TOURNEY TALK: SHU has earned a berth in the NEC Tournament for the third time in five seasons under head coach Jonathan Basti. SHU earned a berth in Basti's first season and again in 2017.

POINT BROTHERS: Classmates Max Tuttle and Joe Saggese have both surpassed the program's single-season points record. Tuttle currently holds that mark, entering postseason with 62 points - which rans first in the NEC and 18th in the nation. Saggese has tallied 60 points, second in the NEC and 20th nationally. The duo account for 51 percent of the Pioneers 239 points this season.

WATCH ME: Junior Max Tuttle has been named to both the Tewaaraton Watch List and the USILA Player of the Year Watch List. He is leading the team in both goals (44) and points (62).  He has recorded hat tricks in 10 games this season, including the win at Hobart on Saturday. Tuttle has 18 assists, 35 ground balls and seven caued turnovers. In addition, he has faced-off eight times, winning six of those, this season. 

SUPER SAGGESE:  Junior Joe Saggese enters the postseason with 60 points, including a team-best 21 assists. He ranks fifth in the NEC and 42nd in the nation,, at 1.5 assists per game. Saggese has also contriburted 15 gournd balls and two caused turnovers.

GIVE ME THAT: The Pioneers finished the regular season ranked fourth in the NCAA, second in the NEC, in caused turnovers, averaging 9.43 per game. Five Pioneers have 13 or more turnovers this season, led by 24 from Joseph Cipoletti.

PICK THEM UP: The Pioneers have scooped up 440 ground balls this season, ranking 10th in the NCAA and third in the NEC. Nick Albanese leads the team with 66 ground balls, with his 4.71 ranking 34th nationally and fourth in the NEC.

TIGHT GAMES: SHU is 4-2 in games decided by one or two goals. The Pioneers are 1-0 in overtime, beating Providence at home, 10-9. 

TAKING ADVANTAGE: The Pioneers have scored 19 man-up goals this season, ranking 17th nationally, and second in the NEC. SHU enters the postseason scoring on 40.4 percent of its extra-man oppurtunities. Kevin Cop and  Jaden Walcott have both found the back of the net five times when playing man-up, good for 28th in the nation and tied for second in the league.

NEW GUY GETS GOING: Rookie Logan Liljeberg has made a name for himself this season, finishing the regular season with 29 points; third on the roster. His 16 assists ranks him 10th in the NEC at 1.14 assists per game. Liljeberg had two game-winning goals amongst his dozen goals this season. In addition, he has picked up 24 ground balls and caused a turnover.

WORKING AT THE X: The Pioneers rotated two primary faceoff men during the 2018 season. Mike Calvaga won 49 percent (72-147) of the face-offs he contested. Jake Giaquinto won a team-best 91 face-offs during the year, at a 44.4 percent clip.

A GLANCE AT THE HAWKS: Saint Joseph's will enter a game as a Top 20 team for the first time in the program's 25-year history as the Hawks were ranked 20th in this week's Inside Lacrosse Maverik Lacrosse Division I Media Poll and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division I Coaches Poll. Chris Blewitt leads the team with 43 points, including a team-high 21 assists. His team leading 22 goals is equlaed by Mike Rastivo. Freshman goalkeeper Mike Adler (9-3, 6-0 NEC) anchored SJU's defensive unit with a 60.6 save percentage and 8.02 goals against average with 146 saves vs. 95 goals allowed in 710:55.