PHILADELPHIA – Having won its last two games, the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse squad (2-3) returns home to host Monmouth (3-2) this Friday, March 10. Opening face-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field and will be the Hawks' first home game in 20 days.
Live streaming of all four remaining regular-season home 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 via SJUHawks.com.
Friday’s game will mark the fourth all-time meeting between Saint Joseph’s and Monmouth, with all three games being played from 2014-16 under the direction of sixth-year head coach Taylor Wray. SJU has won all three meetings, which includes an 18-8 road win last spring, a 9-2 home win in 2015, and an 11-6 road win in 2014.
After opening the season with a trio of losses to then-nationally-ranked teams, the Hawks are 2-0 against unranked opponents with road wins over St. John's and Manhattan.
Junior attackman Chris Blewitt leads the Hawks with 13 points (10g, 3a) while senior midfielder Kevin Reidinger matches a team-best 10 goals and junior attackman Jason Kelly has chipped in 10 points (8g, 2a). Junior midfielder Hayes McGinley has dished out a team-high five assists.
Senior face-off specialist Danny Manning owns a 53.6 percent winning percentage from the X (37-for-69) while junior Austin Smith's 15 ground balls and senior Shane Taggert's five caused turnovers lead the defensive categories; senior Connor Kubikowski has gone for 10 ground balls and four caused turnovers. Senior goalkeeper T.J. Jones (2-3) sports a .515 saves percentage and 10.60 goals against average in 277:23; he held both St. John's and Manhattan to five goals apiece last week.
Blewitt and Kelly have started all five games up top, while SJU's starting midfield unit has been the same with Reidinger, McGinley, and junior Kyle Cain. Senior defenseman Charles Giunta has made all five starts on the back line alongside Jones.
Sparked by four consecutive unassisted goals to close the third quarter and to open the fourth, Monmouth opened its season with a 12-10 road win at then-#16 Villanova on February 11. The Hawks then fell to Hofstra, 11-9, defeated Wagner, 10-8, lost in overtime to Delaware, 11-10, and, most recently, defeated UMass-Lowell, 7-6, this past Saturday, as Bryce Wasserman scored with 50 seconds on the clock.
Tyler Keen leads Monmouth in scoring with 11 goals while Wasserman owns five goals and a team-best six helpers. Face-off specialist Justin Schwenk has tallied 24 ground balls to go with a 54.1 winning percentage from the X (53-for-98) through five games. Goalkeeper Nick Hreshko (3-2) owns a .945 save percentage and 9.11 goals against average in all 302:56.