Men’s Lacrosse Shakes Off Early Deficit, Storms Back to Defeat Hartford, 16-12

Men’s Lacrosse Shakes Off Early Deficit, Storms Back to Defeat Hartford, 16-12

PHOTOS (courtesy of Steve McLaughlin)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Trailing 9-5 late in the second quarter, the Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team withstood the early Hartford pressure and stormed back to defeat the Hawks, 16-12, from Al-Marzook Field on Saturday afternoon. A third straight road win moves the Pioneers to 4-3 on the season while Hartford remains winless at 0-6.

Joe Saggese and Max Tuttle were the stars on the day for the Pioneers as the duo each tallied five goals and one assist for six points apiece. Needing two goals heading into today's game to reach the century mark, Saggese made history scoring five times to become the fifth player in program history to score 100 career goals for SHU. He joins a list that includes his classmate Tuttle as well as Stephen Grabow '03, Mike Mawdsley '14 and Erick Perez '03 as the only players in program history with 100+ goals.

Having played more games against Hartford than any other team at the Division I level, SHU moves to 10-11 all-time against the Hawks while snapping a three-game losing streak against their annual in-state rival. These two sides have played one another in all but one season since SHU was elevated to the Div. I level.


Sacred Heart 16 / Hartford 12


Sacred Heart (4-3) / Hartford (0-6)


Al-Marzook Field / West Hartford, Conn.

First Half (9-7 HARTFORD)

  • The Hawks went up on the Pioneers 3-1 after 8:32 went by in the opening quarter
  • Saggese finished the quarter strong for SHU, scoring consecutive goals to tie the score at 3-3 after the first quarter of play
  • Shots heavily favored the Pioneers, 12-7, after the opening 15 minutes of play but SHU was plagued by six turnovers in the opening frame
  • SHU took their first lead of the game as Logan Liljeberg continued to assert himself on the offensive end, scoring for the second time to put the Pioneers ahead 4-3
  • Hartford followed with a dominating 6-1 run that made it 9-5 with 2:02 remaining in the first half
  • A huge momentum shift, however, cut the Hawks' lead in half heading into halftime as Tuttle scored twice in a span of 15 seconds to cut the deficit to 9-7
  • Faceoffs were key in the second quarter as Hartford won 7-of-10 in the period while the Hawks saw all six of their shots-on-goal find the back of the net

Second Half (16-12 SHU)

  • The second half began much like the first as Hartford found an early tally just 52 seconds into the frame but the game was about to flip as SHU went on a game-deciding 5-0 run throughout the remainder of the third quarter
  • Alex Weiss started the action with his first of two goals on the day while a pair of extra man opportunities ended in goals for the Pioneers as both Tuttle and Saggese found the back of the net on EMOs in the third quarter
  • Tuttle factored again with two more strikes in the quarter to give him a hat trick with three goals in the third period alone
  • Hartford was far from out of it in the fourth as Dylan Jinks scored twice, sandwiched around a Saggese tally to cut the Pioneer lead to 12-11 with over eight minutes remaining
  • Needing a stop, the Pioneer defense came up huge down the stretch as the Hawks had three chances, including a one-minute-long EMO, that resulted in nothing as the SHU defense won the game late
  • After SHU killed off the Hartford EMO in the final minutes, Tuttle found Weiss in front for his second goal of the day to build a two-goal cushion for the Pioneers with 1:52 remaining
  • Hartford still wasn't out of it yet, as the Hawks won the ensuing faceoff only to turn the ball over to the Pioneers who cashed in again on Saggese's fifth of the day to ice the game away late for SHU


  • Five players combined for the 16 SHU goals, led by Saggese and Tuttle with five each while Liljeberg, Weiss and Connor O'Reilly added two apiece
  • Saggese continues to lead the team and NEC with 36 points (21 goals, 15 assists) on the season as his 5.2 points per game average ranks first in the NEC and Top 10 in the nation
  • After struggling with four points in a two-game stretch, Tuttle has found his goal-scoring form as he's posted back-to-back five-goal games to give him 10 tallies over the last two games for the Pioneers
  • Tuttle is tied with Saggese for the team-lead in goals with 21 while he adds nine assists to give him 30 points on the season
  • Tuttle added five ground balls in the victory as he continues to lead the team with 29 on the season
  • Liljeberg struck for his second multi-goal game of the season as the sophomore finished with two goals to go along with one assist for three points
  • O'Reilly continues to produce in his senior season, as his two-goal output is good enough for his third multi-goal game of 2019
  • O'Reilly has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) on the season which is an impressive feat considering the midfielder had seven points in 36 career games heading into his senior season
  • Weiss scored twice to give him seven goals and two multi-goal games on the season
  • Weiss did not see the field in 2018, missing his entire freshman season due to injury
  • Leading the defensive until on the day for SHU was Landon Kramer as the senior finished the day with five caused turnovers and two ground balls
  • Kramer's five caused turnovers is tied for the fifth-most in a single-game in SHU program history while he ups his team-leading total for the season to 17 (Top 10 in the nation)
  • Freshman midfielder Donovan Lacey added a season-high two caused turnovers and one ground ball
  • Kyle Foley dished out an assist for his first career point while he added a career-high five ground balls and one caused turnover
  • Drew Edwards finished with one assist and a career-high three ground balls
  • Freshman Daniel Rodriguez took 28 of the 31 total faceoffs on the day, winning nine and finishing with five ground balls
  • Junior goalkeeper Brooks Dutton made four saves on the day to pick up his fourth win of the season and 19th of his career
  • Dutton continues to inch closer to the all-time wins record for SHU goalkeepers as he is just two away from Art DeGaetano's '98 program record of 21

The Pioneers head into NEC play riding a three-game road winning streak as SHU opens the conference slate at home on Saturday, March 16 with a matchup against the NEC preseason favorite Robert Morris at 12 PM. SHU is 7-7 all-time against RMU but have lost the last three straight to the Colonials.