PHILADELPHIA – Coming off of a dominating first win of the season, the Saint Joseph’s men’s lacrosse squad (1-3) returns home to host two games this week, beginning with local rival Drexel (2-3) this Tuesday, March 13. Opening face-off is set for 4:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.
Saint Joseph’s has a quick three-day turnaround before hosting NJIT (0-8) this Friday, March 16. Opening face-off for the inaugural meeting between the Hawks and Highlanders is set for 7:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.
Live streaming of both games will be available free of charge through NEC Front Row. For system requirements and best streaming practices, please visit: NEC Front Row. Live stats will also be provided at SJUHawks.com.
Saint Joseph’s enters Tuesday’s game following an 11-5 road win over Monmouth on Saturday; senior attackman Chris Blewitt went for five points on four goals and a helper and both graduate student attackman Mike Rastivo and senior attackman Patrick O’Brien scored twice as the starting attack unit accounted for 73% of SJU’s offensive production. Freshman face-off specialist William Jardeleza went 13-of-19 from the X while redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mike Adler made 13 saves for his first collegiate victory.
Through the Hawks’ first four games, Blewitt leads the Hawks in goals (seven), assists (five), and points (12), followed by senior midfielder Kyle Cain (6g, 3a) and Rastivo (6g, 2a). Senior long stick midfielder Austin Smith leads the Hawks with 15 ground balls while, after going 28-of-42 from the X last week, Jardeleza upped his face-off percentage to 55.6 percent (30-of-54) en route to Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week accolades. Adler (1-3) owns a .605 save percentage and 8.08 goals against average with 49 saves vs. 32 goals allowed in 237:42.
After opening the season with a trio of losses to then-#11 Virginia, 13-8, then-#2 Albany, 18-5, and then-#7 Villanova, 12-9, Drexel has won back-to-back contests, vs. Marist, 15-5, and Bryant, 12-9; last time out at Bryant on Saturday, Reid Bowering scored five times and Drexel went on a four-goal run in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
On the season, Bowering owns a team-high 11 goals while Matthew Varian boasts a team-high 16 points on 10 goals and a team-high six assists. Jake Kiernan has gone for eight ground balls and a team-high nine caused turnovers to anchor the Dragon defense while both Jimmeh Koita (19-of-60, 11 ground balls) and Dan Lanham (14-of-50) have seen time from the X, with Koita sporting a team-high 31.7 percent. Chre Teitelbaum (2-1) is Drexel’s primary goalkeeper of four total used this season and sports a .581 save percentage and 8.16 goals against average with 36 saves and 26 goals allowed in 191:14, along with a team-high 13 ground balls.
Tuesday’s game will mark the 25th all-time meeting between Saint Joseph’s and Drexel. The Dragons own a 24-1 all-time series advantage over the Hawks, with SJU’s lone win coming in the form of a 10-9 victory on April 1, 2000. Despite a career-high four goals from then-junior attackman Jason Kelly, the Crimson and Gray fell, 12-8, on the road last spring. The Hawks and Dragons have played every year since SJU began its program in 1993.
Series results from the most recent five meetings are listed below:
2017 - L - 12-8 – Away
2016 - L - 10-9 – Home
2015 - L - 11-7 – Away
2014 - L - 14-10 – Home
2013 - L - 16-3 - Away
NJIT is winless on the year with losses to Lehigh, 13-8, Lafayette, 10-8, then-#12 Army West Point, 14-5, Delaware, 11-6, VMI, 11-9, Quinnipiac, 18-6, Princeton, 15-8, and UMass, 17-3. Six of those eight games have been played on the road.
On the season, Aaron Forster has hit the back of the net a team-high 20 times and has added a team-high six helpers for a team-high 26 points. Cole Robillard (7g, 3a) also has double-digit points for the Highlanders to lead the offensive unit. John Tachon sports dominant numbers on defense, with a team-high 37 ground balls and team-high 13 caused turnovers while primary face-off specialist Adam Gonzalez (35-of-96) has gone 36.5% from the X. Goalkeeper Nick Marzullo (0-8) sits with a .497 save percentage and 13.76 goals against average with 92 saves and 93 goals allowed in 405:23.
Be sure to follow the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse program on Twitter and Instagram and like the Hawks on Facebook. Fans can receive all of the latest news and info on the men's lacrosse program with Hawk E-News.
Also be sure to check out Sideline Photos, LLC's shots from home games vs. Fairfield and St. John’s at PhotoShelter.com.