CAA MEN’S LACROSSE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ricardo Vargas, Sacred Heart
Sr., GK, Falls Church, Va./Bishop O’Connell
Ricardo Vargas led the Pioneers to a season closing 15-7 win over Delaware. The senior goalkeeper, playing in his last game for SHU, posted 16 saves while holding the Blue Hens to just seven goals. Vargas kept UD, the highest scoring offense in the league, off the scoreboard for 30:53 from the first to third quarter to pave the way for the offense to put together a 9-0 run.
CAA MEN’S LACROSSE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Jay Card, Hofstra
Fr., A, Caledon, Ontario, Canada/The Hill Academy
Jay Card tallied five goals and two assists in the Pride’s two victories last week. On April 22 at Stony Brook (W, 14-13), he posted two goals and one assist while adding his sixth hat-trick of the season and posting one assist at Robert Morris (W, 13-12) April 26. Card, now a three-time Rookie of the Week honoree, has 27 goals and nine assists for 36 points on the season.
2008 CAA MEN’S LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIPS FIELD SET: The tournament opens with a pair of semifinal contests Wednesday, April 30. Top-seeded Drexel (12-3, 5-1 in CAA) hosts No. 4 Villanova (5-9, 3-3 in CAA) at 7 p.m., while second-seeded Hofstra (8-5, 5-1 in CAA) entertains No. 3 Delaware (9-6, 3-3 in CAA) at 7 p.m. The winners will meet Saturday, May 3, at the site of the highest remaining seed. The CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship game will be televised live on CN8 as the opening faceoff is set for 5 p.m. Mike Corey will handle play-by-play for the broadcast, while Leif Elsmo will serve as the broadcast’s analyst.
DREXEL IS THE ONLY CAA SQUAD RANKED NATIONALLY: After having as many as three teams ranked during the regular season, Drexel is the only CAA squad among the most recent national polls. In the USILA Coaches poll, Drexel leads the way at No. 11, while Hofstra is one of two schools receiving votes. The Dragons also come in at No. 11 in the April 28 edition of the Nike/Inside Lacrosse rankings -- Hofstra is also just outside the poll after garnering 21 votes.
DELAWARE’S DICKSON FINALIST FOR THE TEWAARATON TROPHY: Curtis Dickson, Delaware’s leading scorer, was recently recognized as one of 22 finalist for the 2008 Tewaaraton Trophy. The trophy, which honors the top male and female collegiate lacrosse players in the nation, is presented annually following the collegiate season at a banquet honoring the finalists and winners. Dickson, the only CAA player on the list of finalists, leads the CAA in both goals and points per game and ranks fifth in the nation in goals (2.93) and eighth nationally in points (3.93) with 59 points and 15 assists
DELAWARE (9-6 overall, 3-3 CAA): Delaware closed out the regular season with a 15-7 loss at Sacred Heart in CAA play. Despite the loss, the Hens gained the No. 3 seed for the CAA Tournament and will travel to No. 2 seed Hofstra for the semifinals Wednesday, April 20. The Blue Hens gained a CAA Tournament berth for the fifth-straight year. Delaware was a No. 3 seed in 2007 when they won two road playoff games to capture the league title and moved on to the NCAA Semifinals. Delaware has now won three of its last four CAA Tournament road games. Delaware travels to Hofstra where it has lost six-straight games since a win in Hempstead in 1999. In Saturday’s loss to Sacred Heart, the Hens were denied reaching 10 wins for the fifth-straight season and head coach Bob Shillinglaw was denied his 250th win at Delaware. Vincent Giordano led the Hens with three goals while Martin Cahill added two goals and Curtis Dickson had one goal and one assist. Cahill has now scored a goal in all 15 games this season while Dickson extended his point-scoring streak to 25-straight games and his goal-scoring streak to 24-straight games, the longest streak for a Delaware player since Jim Bruder tallied a goal in 24-straight in 1996-98. Sacred Heart scored nine-straight goals after Delaware took a 1-0 lead to take control of the game. Delaware’s student radio station, WVUD, plans to broadcast all Blue Hen postseason contests. Links to live game broadcasts are available at www.WVUD.org
No. 11 DREXEL (12-3 overall, 5-1 CAA): 11th-ranked Drexel is the CAA Men’s Championship No. 1 seed for the first time in school history and will be looking for its first-ever league championship. The Dragons have now shared the regular season CAA title two-straight years, but earned the tie-breaker for the No. 1 seed over Hofstra after logging a 9-8 victory over the Pride March 29. Drexel’s 12 wins in 2008 tie the school record, and it is the first time in school history the team has garnered back-to-back 11 win seasons. Adam Dennis had four goals in the win over Villanova April 26. Colin Ambler had a goal and three assists against the Wildcats. Ryan West was 6-for-8 on face offs and Drexel won 15-of-20. Bruce Bickford had 10 saves in the win, while Drexel had two goals in the first half from long poles -- Steve Grossi and Dan Fessel. Drexel led by as many as 8-1 before Villanova started their comeback. Drexel will face Villanova in the semifinal round April 30, marking the second time the two teams have met in five days.
HOFSTRA (8-5 overall, 5-1 CAA): Hofstra hosts Delaware in the CAA semifinals at Shuart Stadium April 30. The two teams last met April 12 in Hempstead with Hofstra posting a 12-8 victory. The Pride lead the series, 20-10. Hofstra is 3-0 in CAA Tournament games played in Hempstead and are 6-0 in conference tournament games played at Shuart Stadium since 2000. Kevin Ford, Adam Mojica, Matt Zaffuto and Jordan Rosen are all out of the CAA Tournament with injuries. Mojica went down with a knee injury at Stony Brook. Anthony Muscarella has recorded at least one point in all 13 games this season and the last three last year for a 16-game scoring streak. The CAA Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week for the third time, Jay Card, is on a 12-game point scoring streak. Michael Colleluori has posted a point in nine-straight games. Tom Dooley has scored a goal in 10 consecutive games. Muscarella recorded a career-high six goals and Dan Stein added a goal and three assists to lead Hofstra to a 14-13 victory over Stony Brook April 22. Stein scored four goals and Muscarella capped a furious Pride rally as Hofstra defeated Robert Morris, 13-12, April 26. Hofstra’s flagship radio station, WRHU, plans to broadcast all Pride postseason contests. Links to live game broadcasts are available at www.WRHU.org
ROBERT MORRIS (4-11 overall, 0-6 CAA): John Kennedy stifled Hofstra with a career-high 23 save performance, but Robert Morris could not fend off a late fourth quarter comeback by the Pride as they defeated the Colonials, 13-12, April 26. Kennedy’s 23 saves was the most-ever by the veteran netminder, which also tied the program-mark for most saves in a game set by Sal Barcia against Wagner Feb. 24, 2008. Not to overshadow the goaltender, but Andrew Watt also put on a valiant performance as the attacker buried five goals and tallied two assists for seven points. Watt finished the season with 55 points and 128 for his career. Trevor Moore and Corbyn Tao-Brambleby each had three points with Moore notching three goals and Tao-Brambleby scoring a goal and two assists.
SACRED HEART (7-5 overall, 2-4 CAA): Sacred Heart’s Ricardo Vargas, who earned CAA Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Week honors, turned in 16 saves and kept Delaware off the scoreboard for a 30:53 span from the first to third quarter as the Pioneers wrapped up 2008 with a 15-7 win over the Fightin’ Blue Hens April 26. The win gives the Pioneers their first winning season since 1999 as they post a 7-5 record on the year. The Pioneers rattled off nine-straight goals while keeping Delaware off the scoreboard until 12:46 in the third quarter. Eight different Pioneers scored on the 9-0 run as Stephen Gerhard got it started with an unassisted score at 12:52 in the first. SHU closed out the first quarter with three more as Tim Russo scored off a feed from Evan Morgan followed by unassisted goals from Nicholas Russo and Bobby Rushton. The second quarter was all Pioneers as Morgan opened the quarter with his 10th goal of the year off a feed from Timmy Katz. Peter Ridge followed off a feed from Morgan for a 6-1 lead. Katz notched his 21st of the year off a pass from James Mohrman and Rushton closed out the first half scoring with his second of the day from Bobby Karl. The Pioneers were out shot 26-20 in the first half but carried an 8-1 lead into the break. Tony Tanzi made it 9-1 out of the half with his 11th of the year from Dan Casicano. The Blue Hens finally ended their scoring draught at 12:46 of the third. Katz answered with an unassisted marker before Delaware closed the quarter with two more to trail 10-4. The Pioneers put the game away with three-straight to start the fourth to build a commanding 13-4 lead. Katz and Morgan led the way offensively with five points apiece, each with two goals and three assists. Casciano, Rushton and Hautau all scored twice in the win.
TOWSON (5-9 overall, 3-3 CAA): After splitting a pair of non-conference games last week, the Tigers ended their season with a 5-9 overall record. It is the first time since 2000 Towson has not had at least a .500 record and also marks the first time in their seven years in the CAA it will miss the CAA Tournament. The Tigers opened the week with a 16-7 loss at Johns Hopkins. It was the Blue Jays’ 13th-straight win over the Tigers in a series which Hopkins owns a 33-3 all-time lead. Towson ended the 2008 campaign with an 18-12 victory over Penn in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Tigers exploded for 11 first-half goals, which were the most in a half this season. The 18 goals against Penn also set a season high. Of the 18 goals against Penn, 13 were scored by the team’s seniors along with six of the team’s 12 assists in the win. Jonathan Engelke ended his career, scoring five goals with six assists in the two games. He scored two goals with two assists in the loss against Hopkins before tying a season-high with seven points against Penn. Engelke scored three goals and tied a career high with four assists against Penn, marking his eighth hat-trick of the season. With 33 goals and 21 assists, he ends the season as the Tigers’ leading scorer for the second-straight year. Engelke finished his career tied for ninth place on the Tigers’ career points list with 156 points. Tim Stratton scored five goals with an assist against Penn. Blake Best scored a season-high five goals with an assist against Penn. Brian Vetter matched a career high by scoring four goals in the first half against the Quakers.
VILLANOVA (5-9 overall, 3-3 CAA): Drexel led Villanova 8-1 midway through the third quarter before settling on the 10-7 final margin April 26. The Wildcats scored the final three goals of the game in the last 5:28 but the three-goal margin was as close as the team got in the second half. Drexel scored two goals in each of the first two periods to lead 4-1 at halftime and scored the first four goals of the second half. Tim Driscoll scored a team-high four goals to lead Villanova and Paul Webber added three assists. Mike Brennan added a goal and an assist for the Wildcats. Both teams ran an efficient offense throughout the game, as the Dragons were successful on all 11 of their clearing attempts and Villanova went 10-for-10 on its own attempts. Drexel owned a narrow 30-24 edge in shots but won 15-of-20 face-off opportunities in the game to control the possessions in the contest. Villanova got on the board with 5:55 left in the second period when Driscoll scored his first goal off a feed from Webber. The tally marked the first of three times in the game that Webber assisted on a goal scored by Driscoll. Brennan assisted on Driscoll’s other tally while Matt Panneton and Chris Aitken each added a goal for the Wildcats. Mark Scioscia added an assist. Each team also got strong play from its goalkeepers, as Andrew DiLoreto had 12 saves for Villanova and Bruce Bickford made 10 stops for the Dragons. DiLoreto stopped 12-of-22 Drexel shots on goal. The Wildcats will face the No. 11 Dragons again Wednesday, April 30, in the semifinals of the 2008 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships at 7 p.m. All Wildcat postseason contests audio will be carried live on the internet by logging on to www.villanova.com.