CAA MEN’S LACROSSE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Colin Ambler, Drexel

Soph., A, Abington, Pa./Abington

Ambler scored six goals and handed out five assists as Drexel won both of its games last week. The sophomore scored four goals and added five assists in Drexel’s 12-5 win over Saint Joseph’s Tuesday, and later scored twice in Drexel’s 7-6 win at Albany Saturday. The nine points against the Hawks were the most for a Drexel player this season and ranks second among all national single-game point marks this season.

 

CAA MEN’S LACROSSE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Corbyn Tao-Brambleby, Robert Morris

Fr., M, Coquitlam, B.C./Western Reserve Academy

Tao-Brambleby picked up his second Rookie of the Week honor of the 2008 season after scoring a total of five goals in two games last week. The midfielder poured in four goals helping the Colonials topple VMI, 15-4, Tuesday. He went on to post another score, his 11th of the season, in Robert Morris’ 12-5 loss to Ohio State Saturday.

 

CONFERENCE NOTES

A TOTAL OF THREE CAA SQUADS RANKED NATIONALLY: A total of 41 games have been played by the CAA’s seven league schools and more than half of its seven squads are among the national polls. In the USILA Coaches poll, Drexel (No. 14), Hofstra (No. 15), and Delaware (No. 16) lead the way, while Towson comes in as one of seven teams just outside the Top-20. All three ranked squads are also part of the March 17 edition of the Nike/Inside Lacrosse rankings -- No. 12 Drexel, No. 16 Delaware and No. 18 Hofstra -- Towson is also just outside the poll.

CAA LACROSSE IN THE NATIONAL TOP-5 STATISTICALLY: A total of three CAA teams rank among the Top-10 in six different categories nationally through games played prior to March 16. Delaware’s 12.71 goals per game mark is fifth-best in the country, while the Blue Hens’ man-up scoring percentage of .562 ranks No. 6. Sacred Heart’s 12.5 goals per game scoring average is No. 6 in the country, while the Pioneers also have the fourth-best scoring margin the country at 4.75. Drexel ranks fifth nationally in both scoring defense (6.0 goals/game) and face-off win percentage (.603). The Dragons also own the nation’s fourth-best winning percantage at .857 (6-1).

THREE INDIVIDUALS AMONG TOP-5 IN NATIONAL STATISTICS RANKINGS: Delaware’s Curtis Dickson and Sacred Heart’s Timmy Katz rank among the Top-5 nationally in a pair of offensive categories. Dickson is averaging 4.71 points/game which is fifth-best in the country. Both Dickson and Katz have goals per game marks among the Top-5 nationally -- Dickson’s 3.43 is No. 3 overall, while Katz’s 3.25 is fifth-best in the nation. Defensively, Drexel’s Bruce Bickford ranks fifth with a 5.63 goals-against average, and is fourth with .681 save percentage.

THE PRIDE’S ROAR: Freshman attack Jay Card scored the game-winner with 1:51 left in the first overtime as Hofstra shocked the top-ranked and defending National Champion Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, 8-7, at James M. Shuart Stadium March 8. Card’s game-high fourth tally of the contest came off a Johns Hopkins turnover near midfield, junior attack Tom Dooley picked it up and passed to junior midfielder Anthony Muscarella, who in turn sent it to Card standing alone to the right of the cage. The win marked the first-ever for the Pride over a No. 1-ranked foe. Pride Head Coach Seth Tierney earned UC Lacrosse Coach of the Week honors March 14 for leading his squad to the overtime win over Johns Hopkins.

EIGHT CAA STANDOUTS ON THE TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: A total of eight CAA Men’s Lacrosse players are listed among 52 standouts on the initial Tewaaraton Award Watch List -- given to the top player in college lacrosse. The eight CAA players include: Bruce Bickford (Drexel), Andrew Chapman (Drexel), Martin Cahill (Delaware), Curtis Dickson (Delaware), Steve Grossi (Drexel), Cam Howard (Delaware), Chris MacDonald (Villanova), Kevin Unterstein (Hofstra).

NECK-AND-NECK LEAGUE RACE PREVIEWED IN PRESEASON POLL: Drexel, which shared the CAA regular-season crown in 2007, was narrowly picked to capture the CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship in 2008 according to the league’s seven head coaches. The Dragons received three first-place votes and a total of 33 points, just one better than Towson’s total of 32. The Tigers also logged three first-place votes. Defending conference champion Delaware picked up the remaining first-place vote and was third in the poll with 27 points.

TEAM NOTES

DELAWARE (5-2 overall): After starting the year 5-0, the Blue Hens had a tough week, falling to No. 10 Georgetown, 18-10, March 12 then dropping a wild 19-16 verdict at home to Stony Brook March 15. Delaware’s No. 7 ranking last week was the team’s highest since a No. 6 ranking in the final regular season poll of the 1999 season. Georgetown ended the Hens’ undefeated season for the second time in three years. Beau Davis, Curtis Dickson, and Tommy Lee each scored two goals for the Hens with Lee notching his first career goals. The Blue Hens were upset by Stony Brook Saturday as Seawolves freshman Jordan McBride exploded for 10 goals and 2 assists. The 10 goals and 12 points set Rullo Stadium records with his 10 goals just one shy of the NCAA record. No. 16 Delaware led 12-8 in the third quarter, but SBU reeled off nine of the next 10 goals to take control. Dickson led UD with five goals, upping his NCAA leading total to 24 on the season. Dickson has now scored a goal in 15-straight games. Stony Brook’s 19 goals were the most allowed by Delaware since a 19-11 loss to No. 1 ranked Loyola in 1999, while the 37 goals in consecutive games is the most since allowing 41 in losses to Towson (20-13) and North Carolina (21-7) in 1997. Delaware opens defense of its CAA title March 22 when it hosts Villanova.

DREXEL (6-1 overall): Steve Grossi led the Dragons to a perfect 2-0 week as No. 14 Drexel extended its winning streak to six games. The senior held Jordan Levine, Albany’s preseason All-America pick, to just two shots and no points. Andrew Chapman logged a hat trick in each of Drexel’s games while CAA Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Week Colin Ambler totaled six goals and five assists in last week’s two contests. Over the past four games, the Drexel defense is allowing just four goals per game. The Dragons will play just one game this week when they travel to Lafayette March 22.

HOFSTRA (2-2 overall): Tom Dooley and Mike Unterstein each had three points for the Pride but that couldn’t overcome a six-point day by Tiger Tommy Davis as No. 11 Princeton downed No. 15 Hofstra, 11-6, at Powers Field at Princeton Stadium March 15. Hofstra had its two-game winning streak snapped and is now 2-2 on the season. Davis tallied three goals and three assists, while Dooley, the Pride’s leading scorer last season, notched two goals and one assist and Unterstein added a goal and two assists to lead Hofstra. Pride Head Coach Seth Tierney earned UC Lacrosse Coach of the Week honors March 14 for leading his squad to an 8-7 overtime win over previously-ranked No. 1 Johns Hopkins. The Pride host Towson at James M. Shuart Stadium March 21. The two teams met twice last year, both times in Towson, with the Pride winning the regular season contest in overtime and Towson coming back to down Hofstra in the CAA Tournament semifinals.

ROBERT MORRIS (4-4 overall): Robert Morris split a pair of game this past week, capturing a 15-4 victory over VMI, while dropping a 12-5 decision to Ohio State. Pat Smith and Andrew Watt captained the offense by combining for nine points in the win over VMI. Smith tallied three goals and two assists, while Watt hit the century mark for career points by scoring three goals and a helper. Watt became the first Colonial men’s lacrosse player to do such a feat. Two-time CAA Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week Corbyn Tao-Brambleby added four goals to move him up the team’s leader boards. Returning home the following Saturday, RMU faced a tough Ohio State team. The Colonials kept up with the Buckeyes through the first half, taking a 3-2 deficit into halftime. But a nine-goal explosion in the second half, including a 5-0 shutout in the third quarter, propelled the visitors to victory. Tao-Brambleby added his 11th goal of the season, while Smith, Dan Kerch, Taylor Caparosa and Rob Marasti also added scores. Sal Barcia recorded both decisions in net, stopping 12 shots against the Keydets and nine against the Buckeyes. Robert Morris opens up CAA play this weekend when it takes on Sacred Heart, March 22, in Fairfield, Conn.

SACRED HEART (3-1 overall): For the second-straight game Sacred Heart found themselves in a 9-3 second half hole, but this time the Pioneers bid for another comeback fell short, losing 9-8 at Binghamton. The Pioneers went into the fourth quarter chasing six goals but came up one score shy of sending the game to overtime as they absorb their first loss of 2008. The Bearcats controlled much of the early action, bursting out to a 5-0 lead two and a half minutes into the second quarter. SHU got the third quarter off on the right foot as Tony Tanzi scored unassisted but the rest of the quarter was all Bearcats, leading 9-3 after three. SHU finally put it all together over the final 15 minutes staging a furious rally as five different players scored on the comeback trail. Dan Casciano got the rally started at 12:04 with an unassisted goal followed by an unassisted Katz goal at 8:30 to pull within 9-5. Evan Morgan cut it to three off a feed from Nick Hautau with six minutes to go and Katz set-up the last two Pioneer goals. Tanzi finished a Katz feed at 4:32 but the Pioneers couldn’t manage their eighth until 36 seconds left in the game, a Bobby Rushton score. The Bearcats were able to take the ensuing face-off and ward off any Pioneers attempt at the tying score and escape with the win. Tanzi, Katz and Rushton all scored two goals each in the loss. Katz added a pair of assists to his stat totals. Zach Smith won 12 of 18 face-offs and had four ground balls.

TOWSON (1-3 overall): After an 18-13 loss to No. 2 Virginia, the Tigers have dropped their last two. The Tigers scored a season-high 13 goals in the loss, but also allowed a season-high 18 goals against the nation’s second-leading offense. The Cavaliers’ point total marked the first time the Tigers have allowed 18 goals in a single game since May 6, 2000 against Hofstra -- semifinals of the America East Tournament -- in an 18-10 loss. Jonathan Engelke matched a career high by scoring three goals in the loss. With 89 career goals, Engelke has tied Bobby Griebe and Tom Wagner for eighth place on the Tigers’ career scoring list. He has also recorded a point in 23-straight games after Saturday’s loss to the Cavaliers. Billy Sadtler made his fourth-straight start for the Tigers and posted a career-high 11 saves in the loss. He also played a career-high 47 minutes in goal against the Cavaliers. The Tigers open their CAA schedule March 21 when they travel to No. 15 Hofstra. It will mark the 39th all-time meeting in a series which the Tigers lead by a 20-18 margin.

VILLANOVA (1-5 overall): Villanova fell 12-3 on the road to Penn State in a game played indoors at Holuba Hall March 11. The Wildcats also lost at Lehigh by a 9-8 score March 15. In the Lehigh game, the Wildcats led 7-3 midway through the third quarter but allowed six unanswered goals and fell behind 9-7 late in the game. Andrew DiLoreto registered a season-high 15 saves in the game against Penn State. It marked the second time this season he had double figures in stops. He also made nine saves against Lehigh. R.J. Lyons had a team-high four points during the week -- one goal, two assists. He scored his first goal of the season against Lehigh and also had two helpers in the game. Lyons has now registered at least one point in three-straight games and is tied for the team assist lead with five. The Wildcats will host Ohio State in a midweek contest, March 18, before going on the road to open CAA play at rival No. 16 Delaware, March 22.