Feb. 22, 2013
The Lafayette men’s lacrosse team looks to get back on the winning side of the .500 mark on Saturday afternoon as it travels to Riverdale, N.Y. for a matchup with Manhattan at 1 p.m. Lafayette erased an 8-3 halftime deficit with an 11-10 overtime win over Georgetown to open the 2013 season and dropped a tough 12-10 decision to Stony Brook on Tuesday evening in its home opener. The Leopards are receiving votes in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll.
The Jaspers were picked to finish seventh in the MAAC Preseason Poll, after finishing last season 5-9 overall. Manhattan returns 26 letterwinners and seven starters from last season’s squad. The Jaspers are led by senior midfielder Tyler Jarvis, who leads the team with four goals and five points through two games. Sophomore attackman Tyler Edel is second on the team with three goals. Junior defender Sean McMahon leads the Jaspers in caused turnovers (4) and ground balls (7). In net for Manhattan is sophomore Michael Wiatrak. The North Caldwell, N.J. native has made 37 saves with a 14.53 goals against average.
The Leopards are coached by first-year man 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 Jaspers are coached by Steve Manitta, who is in his first season at Manhattan. Manitta was the head men’s lacrosse coach at Mercy College the previous three years. At Mercy College, Manitta compiled a 22-20 record.
The Leopards and Jaspers have only met once in their histories on March 10, 2004, when Manhattan came away with a 6-2 win in Easton.
Sophomore Sonny Round is leading the Lafayette attack early on this season with seven goals, putting him in a tie for third in the Patriot League thus far. Junior Jake Mann has chipped in with four scores, while junior John Floyd and sophomore Brian Bock have each netted three. Freshman Kevin Wanke leads the team in assists with three, followed by freshman Morgan Westby and junior Mike Galione with two apiece.
Picking It Up
Junior Matt Evans and senior Greg Rau are leading the Leopards in ground balls with 12 and 11, respectively. Rau has also been the Leopards primary faceoff man, ranking fourth in the Patriot League in faceoff percentage at 53.1 percent, winning 26 of his 49 draws so far this season.
Between the Pipes
Hyatt, a Ridgefield, Conn. native stood tall against Georgetown, making 16 saves on the afternoon, the most in the Patriot League. He stopped 10 of Stony Brook’s 22 shots on goal in the 12-10 loss on Tuesday and sits first in the League with 13 saves per game.
Lafayette 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 took on Stony Brook in their home opener, but fell to the Seawolves, 12-10. Lafayette will host Bucknell on March 16 and Colgate on April 13. The Leopards match up with Lehigh in the regular season finale in Bethlehem on April 20.
Around the Patriot League
On Tuesday night, Navy travelled to Connecticut to take on Fairfield. The Stags were able to pull out a 10-9 victory over the Mids in the only League contest.
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.