Feb. 25, 2013
The Lafayette men's lacrosse team travels to Staten Island on Tuesday afternoon, seeking its second win of the campaign. The Leopards have dropped two straight after a season-opening win over Georgetown. Wagner comes into Tuesday's game 0-2 with losses to Providence, 17-6, and Rutgers, 20-10. Lafayette is 1-2 this season, falling to Stony Brook and Manhattan.
The Seahawks were picked to finish sixth in the Northeast Conference Preseason Poll, after finishing last season 1-13 overall. Wagner will be led by senior Nick DePhillips, an All-NEC Second Team selection a season ago. DePhillips tallied a team-high 27 points on 24 goals and three assists in 2012 and has already notched three goals and one assist this season. Freshman Griffen Leclaire has made an immediate impact for the Seahawks netting four goals and two assists. Sophomore Matt Bunting leads the defense with five caused turnovers, while senior midfielder Krey Keller has a team-high eight ground balls for the Seahawks. Junior Nicholas Gibaldi starts between the pipes, notching an 18.07 goals-against average and 28 saves so far this season.
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 Seahawks are coached by Matt Poskay, who is in his second season at Wagner. Poskay holds a career record of 1-15. All-Time Series The Leopards have a 10-1 record against the Seahawks, including victories in the last seven games played. Last season, Lafayette demolished Wagner, 19-2, on College Hill.
Sophomore Sonny Round is continuing his strong start, leading the Lafayette attack with eleven goals, putting him tied for eight in the nation and first in the Patriot League thus far. Junior Jake Mann has chipped in with five scores including a league-leading four man-up goals, while junior John Floyd and sophomore Brian Bock have each netted four. Freshman Kevin Wanke leads the team in assists with three, followed by classmate Morgan Westby, junior Mike Galione and Bock with two apiece.
Picking It Up
Senior Greg Rau leads the Leopards, and sits second in the League in ground balls with 21. The Fair Lawn, N.J. native has also been the Leopards' primary faceoff man, ranking second in the Patriot League in faceoff percentage at 56.5 percent (26-49). Junior defender Matt Evans is second on the team in ground balls with 13, followed closely by junior goalkeeper Jake Hyatt with 12.
Between the Pipes
Hyatt, a Ridgefield, Conn. native stood tall against Georgetown, making 16 saves on the afternoon. The junior leads the Patriot League in saves per game (12.33) and is third in save percentage (.529).
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 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
All the Patriot League teams were in action this weekend. Bucknell, Colgate and Holy Cross all won Saturday afternoon. The Bison defeated Bryant, 10-8, the No.10 Raiders handled Dartmouth, 13-10, and the Crusaders beat Hartford, 11-9. No. 12/8 Lehigh fell to No. 11 Denver, 18-10, on Saturday afternoon. The Mountain Hawks were back in action Sunday, but lost again to Air Force, 15-10. Georgetown needed overtime to hand Navy its second loss this season, and No. 18 Syracuse took care of Army, 6-2.
The Leopards return to College Hill on Saturday, March 2 when they host Marist at 3 p.m. Patriot League play is set to begin Saturday, March 9, as the Leopards travel to Annapolis to take on the Midshipmen.