March 4, 2013
The Lafayette men’s lacrosse team returns to action on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. when it hosts Delaware inside Fisher Stadium as part of a doubleheader with the Lafayette women’s lacrosse team. The women will host Monmouth at 7 p.m. inside Fisher Stadium. The men’s game against Delaware was moved up to Tuesday due to the potential inclement weather scheduled to hit the Easton area on Wednesday.
The Blue Hens were picked to finish fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Poll after finishing last season 6-9 overall. Delaware is led by senior attackman Eric Smith, who leads the Blue Hens in points (16) on 11 goals and five assists. Senior midfielder Nick Diachenko leads Delaware in goals (12) and is second on the team in points (13). Junior midfielder Connor McRoy leads the Blue Hens in assists with six. Sophomore Tyler Barbarich is the main faceoff man for the Blue Hens, leading the squad in winning 58 percent of his draws and leads Delaware in ground balls with 34. Classmate Brandon Worrall leads Delaware in caused turnovers with nine, to go with 15 ground balls. Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Herbert has started all five games posting a 1-3 record for the Blue Hens, making 58 saves to go along with an 11.06 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 Blue Hens are coached by Bob Shillinglaw, who is in his 38th season in charge of Delaware. Shillinglaw holds a career record of 306-277, and a 282-260 mark with the Blue Hens.
The Leopards are seeking their second win over the Blue Hens in a series that dates back to 1950.
Sophomore Sonny Round leads the Lafayette attack with 15 goals, putting him third in the Patriot League in goals per game (3.75). Round is third in the League in points per game with 4.75 per contest. Sophomore Brian Bock leads the Leopards in assists (8) and is second in points (12). Bock and freshman Kevin Wanke are tied for second on the team in goals with seven.
Picking It Up
Senior Greg Rau leads the Leopards and sits fourth in the Patriot League in ground balls with 22, while winning 50 percent of his faceoff attempts. Senior captain Anthony Zawadzki ranks first in the Patriot League in faceoff percentage (59.3). Junior defender Matt Evans is second on the team in ground balls with 18, followed by junior goalkeeper Jake Hyatt with 14. Senior defender Geoff Stearns leads the Leopards in caused turnovers with ten, while picking up 13 ground balls.
Between the Pipes
Hyatt, a Ridgefield, Conn. native has been stellar so far for the Leopards, making 16 saves in three different contests (at Georgetown, at Wagner, vs Marist) and at least ten saves in every game. The junior leads the Patriot League in saves per game (13.8) and sits second in save percentage (.580).
Lafayette will face two teams ranked in the Nike Division I Top 20 Poll, both from the Patriot League in Colgate (15), Lehigh (17), as well as Bucknell who was ranked in the preseason and continues to receive votes. Additionally, Colgate and Lehigh, along with non-conference opponent Stony Brook, made appearances in the NCAA Tournament last spring. Stony Brook and Marist, who are both receiving votes in the latest Nike Divison I Top 20 Poll, beat the Leopards, while Lafayette defeated a Georgetown team in their season opener that is also receiving votes. 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
Six Patriot League teams were in action on Saturday afternoon, including the Leopards falling to Marist, 8-5. Bucknell and Navy kicked off League play with the Bison beating the Mids, 10-2. Holy Cross snuck by Sacred Heart, 11-9, while No. 17/16 Lehigh blew out VMI, 18-2. No. 7/5 Cornell defeated No. 11/9 Colgate, 19-3. The final team, Army ousted Michigan, 12-1. On Tuesday night four Patriot League teams are in action, with the Leopards hosting Delaware at 4 p.m., Holy Cross visiting Rutgers, Colgate traveling to Hobart, and Lehigh entertaining Penn.
The Leopards are set to start Patriot League play this weekend with a trip to Annapolis Saturday, March 9, to take on the Midshipmen.