Feb. 18, 2013
The Lafayette men's lacrosse team looks to start the season 2-0 Tuesday afternoon when it hosts Stony Brook at 4:30 p.m. in the home opener. Lafayette was picked to finish seventh in this season's preseason Patriot League Poll after posting 3-10 (1-5) record in 2012. Lafayette erased an 8-3 halftime deficit with an 11-10 overtime win over Georgetown on Saturday, and the Leopards are now receiving votes in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll.
Scouting Stony Brook
The Seawolves come into Tuesday's game at 0-1 with an opening game loss to Marist. Stony Brook returns three starters and 18 letterwinners from an NCAA Tournament team that finished 7-10 overall. Selected second in the America East Preseason Poll, the Seawolves will be led by reigning America East Rookie of the Year, Mike Rooney. Rooney led Stony Brook in goals and points with 34 and 47, respectively. Senior Jeff Tundo, who was drafted by the MLL's New York Lizards, was a First Team All-Conference selection a season ago and scored 17 goals with 28 assists last season.
The Leopards are coached by Jim Rogalski, who spent the previous two seasons as the head coach at the University of Scranton. At Scranton, Rogalski put together back-to-back winning seasons with an overall record of 18-15. The Seawolves are coached by Jim Nagle, who is in his second season at Stony Brook. Nagle guided the Seawolves to the NCAA Tournament and the America East Championship in his first season in charge. He has a career record of 158-113 in 18 total seasons.
All-Time Series The Leopards won the first game of the all-time series, 14-4, in 2002, but have not been able to beat Stony Brook since, falling the last four meetings. In the last meeting, the Seawolves defeated Lafayette, 12-9, in 2009.
Sophomore Sonny Round is leading the Lafayette attack early on this season with four goals, which ranks second in the Patriot League thus far. Freshman Kevin Wanke leads the team in assists with three, also ranking second in the League. Junior John Floyd netted the game winner in overtime against Georgetown over the weekend.
Picking It Up
Juniors Matt Evans and Jake Hyatt lead the Leopards in ground balls. Each picked up seven in the win over Georgetown, which ranks them third in the Patriot League. Faceoff man, senior Greg Rau ranks fourth in the League in faceoff percentage at 54.2 percent, winning 13 of 24 draws in Washington D.C.
Between the Pipes
Hyatt, a Ridgefield, Conn. native stood tall against Georgetown, making 16 saves on the afternoon, the most in the Patriot League. His .615 save percentage ranks second early on, and his goals-against average of 9.90 is fourth best thus far.
The Lafayette Leopards will face three teams ranked in the Nike Division I Top 20 Poll, all from the Patriot League in Lehigh (10), Colgate (11) and Bucknell (18). Additionally, Colgate and Lehigh, along with non-conference opponent Stony Brook, made appearances in the NCAA Tournament last spring. The Leopards will take on Stony Brook in their home opener on Tuesday, Bucknell on March 16 and Colgate on April 13, all on College Hill. Lafayette matches up with Lehigh in the regular season finale in Bethlehem on April 20.
Around the Patriot League
It was a busy weekend for Patriot League men's lacrosse as all seven teams played, and five of the teams posted victories. Navy topped Detroit, 11-7, on Friday night, while Army defeated VMI, 14-8, on Saturday afternoon. Ranked League teams in Colgate and Lehigh both were victorious Saturday, as the Raiders beat Vermont, 13-7, and the Mountain Hawks downed Villanova, 11-9. Holy Cross and Bucknell were the only two League teams to lose this weekend, as the Crusaders fell to St. John's, 11-9, and the Bison were upset by Mount St. Mary's, 12-11.
Lafayette will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 as it travels to Riverdale, N.Y. to take on Manhattan at 1 p.m. Following the trip to Manhattan, the Leopards head to Staten Island on Tuesday, Feb. 26 to take on Wagner. Patriot League play starts March 9, when Lafayette travels to Annapolis to take on Navy.