March 8, 2013
The Lafayette men's lacrosse team opens up Patriot League play with a trip to Annapolis, Md. to take on Navy on Saturday afternoon at 12 p.m. inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Leopards come into the game 2-4 overall with wins over Georgetown and Wagner. The Midshipmen enter league play 2-3 overall with wins over VMI and Detroit.
The Mids were picked to finish fifth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll after finishing last season 6-6 overall and 3-3 in league play. Navy is led by junior attackmen Sam Jones and Tucker Hull, who are tied for the team lead with 12 points. Jones is the team leader in goals (8), while Tucker leads in assists (6). Defensively, the Mids are led by senior Austin Miller, who leads the team in caused turnovers (12) while picking up 18 ground balls. In the faceoff circle, senior Evan McGoogan is tops on the team, winning 32 out of his 63 attempts. In goal for Navy is senior Nolan Hickey, who has started every game, making 60 saves on 170 shots faced with an 8.71 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 Mids are coached by Rick Sowell in his second season in charge. Sowell has a career record of 94-90, with stops in Dartmouth, St. Johns and most recently, Stony Brook.
The Leopards are looking for their second win over the Mids, who beat the Maroon and White, 12-7 last season on College Hill.
Sophomore Sonny Round leads the Lafayette attack with 17 goals, putting him second in the Patriot League in goals and goals per game (2.83). Round is third in the League in points per game with 4.00 per contest. Sophomore Brian Bock has 12 goals and leads the Leopards in assists (8). Freshman Kevin Wanke is third on the team in goals (8), assists (4) and points (12).
Picking It Up
Senior Greg Rau leads the Leopards and sits fourth in the Patriot League in ground balls with 26, while winning 50 percent of his faceoff attempts. Senior captain Anthony Zawadzki ranks second in the Patriot League in faceoff percentage (57.1). Junior defender Matt Evans is second on the team in ground balls with 20, followed by junior goalkeeper Jake Hyatt with 15. Senior defender Geoff Stearns leads the Leopards in caused turnovers with 12, while picking up 14 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 (14.0) and sits second in save percentage (.579).
Lafayette will face two teams ranked in the Nike Division I Top 20 Poll, both from the Patriot League in Colgate (15), and 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
Three teams were in action Tuesday with Holy Cross outlasting Rutgers, 9-8, No. 16/15 Hobart taking down Colgate in overtime, 9-8, and No. 18/18 Penn knocking off No. 19/17 Lehigh, 6-4. On Saturday afternoon, Holy Cross will travel to Colgate for both teams' first League action this season. Other Patriot Teams in action will be Bucknell hosting Massachusetts, Army traveling to Rutgers and Lehigh taking on Penn State.
The Leopards will continue Patriot League play March 16, when they host Bucknell at 7 p.m. inside Fisher Stadium.