PHILADEPHIA – The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team (10-3, 5-0 NEC) will have an opportunity to win the 2014 Northeast Conference regular-season title outright at Hobart (4-8, 3-2 NEC) this Saturday, April 26. The NEC men's lacrosse matchup and regular-season finale for both squads will be played at Boswell Field in Geneva, N.Y. Opening face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Time Warner Cable Sports Channel will televise the game regionally while WEOS - Finger Lakes Public Radio (89.5/90.3) will provide live audio. The game will also be streamed on HWSAthletics.com via a subscription to HWS All-Access.
Saint Joseph’s leads the nation in man-down defense as the Hawks' defensive unit holds its opponents scoreless 80 percent of the time. SJU opponents have had 50 extra man opportunities and have only scored on 10 of those possessions as the Hawks have held their opponents to a 20% EMO conversion rate.
Saint Joseph''s leads the Northeast Conference in scoring margin (2.92), scoring offense (11.00), and shot percentage (.301) and ranks second in clearing percentage (.871), face-off winning percentage (.507), points per game (16.15), scoring defense (8.08), and winning percentage (.769).
A four-time NEC Player of the Week, redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee averages a team-best 3.69 points per game on 30 goals and 18 assists heading into Saturday. McGee leads the NEC in points per game and goals per game and ranks second in the league in assists per game. This week's NEC Rookie of the Week in freshman attackman Michael Rastivo (19G, 7A), junior midfielder Mike Dougherty (15G, 11A), senior midfielder Johnny Simanski (15G, 3A), and sophomore attackmen Pat Swanick (13G, 2A) and Matt Blasco (10G, 6A) (10G, 6A) also boast double-digit numbers in goals for the Crimson and Gray.
Junior defenseman Will Farrell leads SJU's back unit with a team-best 34 ground balls and 24 caused turnovers; his 1.85 caused turnovers per game rank the junior second in the NEC. Sophomore John Winchell (31GB, 15CT) and Kevin Barrow (26GB, 15CT) have combined for 57 ground balls and 30 caused turnovers on the defensive end of the field. Senior Will Abbott has gone 58-of-114 from the face-off for a .509 percentage from the X while freshmen Danny Manning and Mike Lanham have also been consistent in the circle.
The Hawks have double the talent between the pipes in junior goalkeeper Dustin Keen (6-2) and two-time NEC Defender of the Week, freshman T.J. Jones (4-1). Jones is 3-0 in SJU's last three consecutive outings; in those games, the rookie led the Hawks to their first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in program history, first win over Delaware in program history, and at least a share of the NEC regular-season title.
After starting the season 0-5, Hobart (4-8, 3-2 NEC) is 4-3 since March 11 with NEC wins over Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's, and Wagner. Jake McHenry (25G) and Matt Opsahi (18G, 7A) lead the Statesmen's offense while Cam Stone (8G, 19A) leads the conference in assists per game. Peter Zonino (2-7) owns a 9.75 goals-against average and .529 save percentage in 658:33. Hobart averages 9.00 goals on 31.8 shots per game.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST THE STATESMEN
Saint Joseph's is 0-2 all-time against Hobart, having fallen twice to the Statesmen in 2008-09.
SJU's 21-9 win over Sacred Heart on Saturday earned Saint Joseph's the right to host the 2014 Northeast Conference Championship. The tournament will be held May 1-3 on Sweeney Field. For up-to-date information about this event, continue to check back at SJUHawks.com.
THE VOTES ARE IN
The Hawks exploded for a 21-9 Northeast Conference victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon to both clinch a share of the 2014 NEC regular-season title and to earn the right to host the 2014 Northeast Conference Championships from May 1-3 en route to receiving votes in the Warrior Men's DI Media Poll for the third consecutive week. The Hawks also received votes in the USILA 2014 Coaches Poll this week.
HAWKS SWEEP NEC WEEKLY HONORS
Redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee and freshman attackman Michael Rastivo tallied four goals and three assists each and freshman goalkeeper T.J. Jones made a career-high 14 saves to lead the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team to a 21-9 Northeast Conference win over Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. The win both clinches at least a share of the NEC regular-season title and earns Saint Joseph's the right to host the 2014 Northeast Conference Championship on Sweeney Field from May 1-3. For their efforts, the trio earned NEC weekly recognition as McGee was named the NEC Player of the Week for the fourth time this season, Jones earned his second Defender of the Week accolade, and Rastivo picked up his first Rookie of the Week nod, the league office announced on Monday.
NOTICE IN THE NEC
Saint Joseph's has earned Northeast Conference weekly recognition 13 times this season. Redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee has been named the NEC Player of the Week four times while sophomore attackmen Matt Blasco and Pat Swanick also received the recognition once each. Freshman goalkeeper T.J. Jones has earned Defender of the Week accolades twice while junior defenseman Will Farrell and goalkeeper Dustin Keen have earned the defensive honors once each. Jones, freshman midfielder Anthony Joaquim and attackman Michael Rastivo have all been named the NEC Rookie of the Week.
ON A ROLL
• Saint Joseph’s owns a four-game winning streak and has won nine of its last 10 games to own a 10-3 overall record heading into Saturday’s contest at Hobart.
• SJU's 10-3 overall record is the program's most successful record through 13 games in program history.
• With 10 wins, the Hawks have now won 10 games in the same season for the first time since 2000 and for just the second time in program history.
• The Hawks haven't lost for 28 days, since March 25 when SJU dropped a 14-10 snowy battle to Drexel.
• Saint Joseph's concludes the regular season at home with a 5-1 record for a .833 win percentage at home, SJU's best win percentage at home in program history. SJU's one loss at home this season marks the least amount of losses at home in one season in program history.
• The Hawks match a program-best record for away games as the 2000 squad finished its season 5-2 (.714) on the road. A win on Saturday would bring the Hawks to 6-2 and a ,750 for the best road percentage in program history.
• The Hawks are 4-0 in the month of April to become the only team in SJU men's lacrosse program history to start the month of April with four consecutive wins. The Hawks have never won every game in April heading into Saturday's regular-season finale.
• SJU's win at Delaware on April 12 marked the first time in school history that the men's lacrosse program had won five consecutive road games in the same season.
• The Hawks sported a 5-1 record for games played through March, which is SJU's best record through six games played in March since 14 years ago when the 2000 team won its first six games of the season, all in March, en route to a 6-2 record through eight games played in March.
LAST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph's 21, Sacred Heart 9
Redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee and freshman attackman Michael Rastivo tallied four goals and three assists apiece to lead 11 Hawks in scoring as the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team exploded for a 21-9 Northeast Conference victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday, April 19. With the win, Saint Joseph's clinched a share of the 2014 NEC regular-season title and is set to host the 2014 Northeast Conference Championships from May 1-3. Saint Joseph's has now hit the 10-win mark of the season and remains undefeated in conference action as the Hawks stand at 10-3 overall and 5-0 in the NEC. The Hawks' 21 goals are the most scored by Saint Joseph's in a single-game this season.
POSTGAME REPORT: COACH WRAY, CLASS OF 2014
Hear what head coach Taylor Wray and seniors Will Abbott, Billy Annesley, Jack Moran, and Johnny Simanski had to say about Saint Joseph's 21-9 win over Sacred Heart to both clinch at least a share of the NEC regular-season title and host the 2014 NEC Tournament by clicking here: Watch video.
LEADERS OF THE LEAGUE
The Northeast Conference game played between the Saint Joseph’s Hawks and Bryant Bulldogs on April 5 was a deciding factor in NEC standings as Saint Joseph's and Bryant tied for first in the league. The Hawks took home the victory to take the top spot in the conference. Bryant sits second at 4-1 while Sacred Heart (3-2) and Hobart (3-2) tie for third. Robert Morris (5th), Mount St. Mary's (6th) and Wagner (7th) and Wagner round out the NEC standings.
MILESTONE WATCH: RYAN MCGEE
Redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee reached the 100-point milestone of his career with a four-goal effort against Mount St. Mary's on April 1. McGee now owns 111 career points on 72 career goals and 39 career assists.
In single-season records, McGee ranks...
• Fourth in shots – 108
• Tied for 10th (with Chris McIsaac '96) in goals – 30
• Six assists and one point shy of cracking the top ten in respective categories
In career records, McGee ranks...
• Ninth in goals – 72
• Tied for 7th (with Steve Varga '08) in shots – 250
• Tied for 10th (with Chris Spay '03) in points – 111
• Two assists shy of cracking the top ten... Currently owns 39 career assists.
STARTING IT UP
Four Hawks have started all 13 games thus far. Redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee and junior midfielder Mike Dougherty have combined for 45 goals and 29 assists in their 13 starts while freshman attackman Ray Vandegrift (9G, 6A) averages over one point per game in a standout rookie season. Sophomore defenseman John Winchell worked his way into a starting role on the defensive end and averages 2.4 ground balls per game.