FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A fourth straight win for the Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team helped the Pioneers hold steady at No. 5 in the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) Week 4 poll, as announced by the committee on Monday afternoon.
The Pioneers (5-3, 1-0 NEC) are winners of four straight and are just one win away from setting a single-season SHU Div. I record for the longest win streak. SHU won five straight games between the 2007-08 and 2000-01 seasons but the Pioneers' highest win streak at the Div. I level in one continuous season is four (accomplished three times, most-recently in 2017).
|2019 NEILA Week 4 Poll|
|Rank||Team (First Place Votes)||Previous Week|
Owners of the ninth-best scoring offense in the country (14.13 goals per game), the Pioneers have enjoyed one of the most-productive offensive seasons in program history through eight games in 2019. SHU has scored in double figures in every game this season and most-recently matched a season-high with 18 goals in Saturday's win over Robert Morris. That 18-goal total helped snap a three-game losing streak against the Colonials while representing the highest single-game scoring output since a 21-8 win at Wagner back on April 6, 2013.
Fresh off his second NEC Player of the Week honor this season, redshirt senior attack Joe Saggese has been one of the top scorers in the country all season with 43 points (24 goals, 19 assists). His 5.38 points per game ranks eighth in the country and tops in the NEC while he is on-pace to shatter SHU's all-time single-season points record of 64 that Max Tuttle set last season. Saggese matched his season-high with seven points (three goals, four assists) in Saturday's 18-16 win over RMU and has 13 points over the last two games.
Tuttle, last week's NEC Player of the Week, is finding his form with 14 goals over the last three games as he currently leads the team and NEC with 25 goals. Tuttle has found success on extra-man opportunities as he leads the NEC in man-up goals (three) while his all-around game has improved dramatically, already setting a new single-season career-high with 36 ground balls.
On the defensive end, the senior duo of Landon Kramer and Joseph Cipoletti have been a shutdown pairing all season long. Kramer ranks third in the nation (1st NEC) in caused turnovers per game (2.86) as he now has 20 through seven appearances this season while Cipoletti ranks just outside the Top 10, sitting 11th in the nation in the same category (2.33). As a team, SHU ranks 10th in the nation in caused turnovers per game (10.75) and ground balls per game (36.63).
The Pioneers are back in action on Saturday with a huge NEC matchup against Hobart (5-1, 1-0 NEC). This conference showdown pits two of the top scoring offenses in the country as Hobart averages 17.50 goals per game (2nd in the nation) while SHU pumps in 14.13 goals per game (9th in the nation).