Lafayette Seeks First Home Win
March 1, 2013
The Lafayette men’s lacrosse team returns to Fisher Field on Saturday afternoon, when they host Marist at 3 p.m. The Leopards come into the game 2-2 overall with wins at Georgetown and Wagner. Lafayette is searching for its first home win of the season, while Marist hits the road for the first time this year after winning its opening two contests in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The Red Foxes are now receiving votes in the Nike Division I Top 20 Poll.
The Red Foxes were picked to finish second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Poll after finishing last season 6-8 overall. Marist will be led by senior attackman Connor Rice, a preseason All-MAAC Team selection, after tallying a team-high 43 points and 26 assists last season to go along with 17 goals. Sophomore midfielder Drew Nesmith, another preseason All-MAAC selection, will head the midfield for the Red Foxes. The Montclair, N.J. native was second in goals (17) and third on the team with 22 points last season. The final preseason All-MAAC selection was defender Ethan Fox, who will anchor the Marist defensive unit this season. The senior leads the Red Foxes in caused turnovers through two games with four and is second in ground balls with eight. Sophomore Dave Scarcello starts in goal for Marist and is 2-0 this season. Scarcello has recorded 22 saves and boasts a 10.50 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 Red Foxes are coached by Keegan Wilkinson who holds an 8-8 career record in his second season at Marist
The Leopards are 9-9 all-time against the Red Foxes, but Marist has won three of the last four in the series. Last season, the Red Foxes defeated the Leopards, 11-10, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Sophomore Sonny Round continues his strong start, leading the Lafayette attack with 15 goals, putting him tied for fourth in the nation and first in the Patriot League in goals per game (3.75). Round is second in the League in points per game and 12th in the nation with 4.75 per contest. Sophomore Brian Bock leads the Leopards in assists (6) and is second in goals (6) and points (12). Jake Mann has five tallies through the first four games, while junior John Floyd and freshman Kevin Wanke have each netted four goals.
Picking It Up
Senior Greg Rau leads the Leopards and sits second in the Patriot League in ground balls with 21. Rau and senior captain Anthony Zawadzki each rank in the top three in the Patriot League in faceoff percentage. Junior defender Matt Evans is second on the team in ground balls with 18, followed by junior goalkeeper Jake Hyatt with 13. Senior defender Geoff Stearns leads the Leopards in caused turnovers with eight, while picking up ten ground balls.
Between the Pipes
Hyatt, a Ridgefield, Conn. native has been stellar so far for the Leopards, making 16 saves in two different contests (at Georgetown, at Wagner). The junior leads the Patriot League in saves per game (13.25) and sits second in save percentage (.558).
Lafayette will face two teams ranked in the Nike Division I Top 20 Poll, all from the Patriot League in Colgate (9), Lehigh (16) and Bucknell (RV). 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 evening, Holy Cross was upended by Harvard, 16-12, and returns to action Saturday, along with all other League teams, when they visit Sacred Heart. Navy and Bucknell open up the Patriot League season when the Midshipmen travel to Lewisburg to take on the Bison, while Lehigh will host VMI and Colgate travels to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on Cornell. Army will make the trip to Miami to take on Michigan as part of the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic.
The Leopards host Delaware on College Hill on Wednesday, March 6 at 4 p.m. in Fisher Stadium. Patriot League play is set to begin Saturday, March 9, as the Leopards travel to Annapolis to take on the Midshipmen.