CAA MEN’S LACROSSE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Bill McCutcheon, Towson
Sr., A, Chatham, N.J./Chatham
McCutcheon earned CAA Player of the Week honors after racking up four goals in the Tigers’ 11-9 conference-opening win over Robert Morris, Saturday. McCutcheon’s two fourth-quarter goals helped push the Towson lead to 11-7, and helped the Tigers snap a three-game losing skid. McCutcheon now has 13 goals and seven assists on the season, having scored nine of the 13 goals in Towson’s two victories on the year.
CAA MEN’S LACROSSE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Mark Manos, Drexel
Fr., GK, West Chester, Pa./Salesianum (Del.)
Manos earned his third CAA Rookie of the Week honor this season after helping Drexel to an 11-9 non-conference win over Lafayette Saturday. The rookie recorded his fifth 10+ save game of the year by stopping 14 Lafayette shots. Manos also picked up the third victory of his career Saturday. The West Chester, Pa., native ranks third in the league with a goals-against average of 8.18 heading into CAA play this weekend.
VILLANOVA ON AN EARLY TEAR HEADING INTO CONFERENCE PLAY: Appearing in the USILA Top-20 for the first time this season, No. 19 Villanova has been turning heads in the world of Men’s Lacrosse. The Wildcats opened the non-conference season by going 5-1, dropping its only contest to Penn State. Head Coach Michael Corrado's squad recently picked up its first win over rival-Delaware since the 2004 season, opening 2008 CAA play with a 5-4 victory over the Blue Hens. Villanova is winning with defense evidenced by its Top-3 national ranking in goals-allowed (5.85). The Wildcats also rank among the Top-10 in the country in penalty-killing, limiting the opposition to just five goals in 28 attempts (.821). One of the biggest factors in Villanova’s success has been the play of senior goalkeeper Andrew DiLoreto, who leads the league and ranks among the nation’s Top-3 in goals-against average (5.51).
CAA SHOWS TWO AMONG TOP-20: No. 6 Hofstra, which was favored to win the league this season by the head coaches, has been a mainstay in the National Top-20 polls in 2008. The Pride began the season ranked No. 13 in the USILA Top-20 and has climbed to No. 6 in this week’s rankings. No. 19 Villanova, the coaches’ pick to finish fifth in the league, turned heads by going 5-1 in early non-conference play. The Wildcats opened CAA play with a defensive win over Delaware, 5-4, which jolted them into the No. 19 spot in the USILA’s poll. Earlier this season Villanova sneaked into the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Poll at No. 20, before falling to Penn State -- its first and only loss of the season.
CAA MEN’S LACROSSE WILL HAVE A NEW LOOK IN 2010: The CAA will add the University of Massachusetts and The Pennsylvania State University as associate members in the sport of men’s lacrosse beginning with the 2010 season. UMass and Penn State will join Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra and Towson to form a competitive six-team conference whose champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship. A realignment of men’s lacrosse conferences nationally – spurred by the Big East Conference and Northeast Conference’s new sponsorship of the sport – led to the changes in CAA membership. Current members Sacred Heart and Robert Morris will move to the NEC and Villanova will move to the Big East following the 2009 campaign.
DELAWARE (2-6, 0-1 CAA): Delaware came out on the short end of a defensive struggle March 21 as the Blue Hens fell to Villanova, 5-4, in both teams’ CAA opener at Villanova Stadium. The Hens, who lost their fourth-straight game and their second-straight by a single goal, pulled to within 5-4 on a goal by Josh Coveleski with 3:55 left to play but could never tie the game. Three of Delaware’s six losses this season have been by a single goal. Prior to Saturday, Delaware had won each of its last two CAA openers and four of its last five. Coveleski and Curtis Dickson each scored a goal and dished out an assist while Martin Cahill and Phil Rollins also tallied goals against Villanova. The Blue Hens, who have lost four-straight for the first time since 2003, got a big effort in goal from Noah Fossner who recorded a career-high 18 saves. Dickson, a Tewaaraton Trophy candidate, upped his season scoring total to 19 goals and four assists and extended his three-year point-scoring streak to 34-straight games -- the fifth longest active streak among NCAA Division I players. Delaware’s four goals was its lowest total since falling to Johns Hopkins 8-3 in the NCAA national semifinals in 2007. The nine goals for both teams marked Delaware’s lowest scoring game since a 5-3 win over Lehigh Feb. 21, 2004. Delaware hosts Lehigh March 24 (7 p.m.), before it travels for another non-conference game this weekend at No. 13 Brown, March 28 (1 p.m.).
DREXEL (3-4 overall): Drexel logged its third win of the year topping Lafayette 11-9 in a non-conference game March 21. Colin Ambler led the Dragons’ attack with three goals and two assists in the win. Ambler reached the 50-goal career milestone in the Lafayette game and also moved into 17th all-time at Drexel with his 41st career assist. Ryan West won 8-of-13 faceoffs against Lafayette, and now holds a .571 faceoff winning percentage on the season good for fourth in the conference rankings. Now a three-time CAA Rookie of the Week, goalkeeper Mark Manos earned his third career win by stopping 14 Lafayette shots. Manos currently ranks third in the league standings with a goals-against average of 8.18. The Dragons will travel to No. 20 Denver for a midweek contest against the Pioneers March 24 at 7:30 p.m. Drexel will then return home to open CAA play when it hosts Towson March 28 at 3 p.m., on The Comcast Network.
No. 6 HOFSTRA (4-1, 1-0 CAA): The sixth-ranked Pride has now won all eight in the all-time series against Sacred Heart after its 6-5 victory March 21. The win was Hofstra’s second-straight dating back to a 9-7 victory over then-No. 3 Princeton March 14. Michael Colleluori finished with two points for the Pride, while five other players notched a point for Hofstra in the win over the Pioneers. Steven DeNapoli had a strong game defensively for the Pride March 21 as he had four caused turnovers and three groundballs in the game. Hofstra outshot SHU 36-22, but lost 11-of-13 faceoffs and picked up 21 ground balls to the Pioneers’ 26. Hofstra’s contest at Army on ESPNU, March 24 at 7 p.m., is the 53rd meeting between the two with the Knights holding a 37-15 series lead. Then-No. 16 Army defeated Hofstra last year on Long Island, 8-7, following a 5-3 Hofstra win in 2007 at Army. Hofstra returns home after its non-conference game Tuesday, for more CAA action March 28 against Robert Morris at noon. Robert Morris is winless against Hofstra as the Pride has won the previous three meetings including a 13-12 decision last year. Michael Colleluori is writing a weekly blog for Inside Lacrosse while Dan Stein does the same for NCAA.com.
ROBERT MORRIS (7-3, 0-1 CAA): The Colonials topped Wagner, 21-8, to open the week of play March 17, but fell to Towson in their conference opener, 11-9, March 21. The win over Wagner kept RMU’s unbeaten streak at home intact with six wins. Robert Morris’ seven wins this season already equals the amount of wins the Colonials won in the past two seasons combined. Robert Morris has scored the first goal of the contest in each of its past six games. Corbyn Tao-Brambleby led the team with seven goals and four assists for 11 points on the week -- recording five goals and three assists against Wagner and two goals and one assist against Towson. Tao-Brambleby has recorded at least one point in every game this season and leads the team with 25 goals. Trevor Moore had another strong week, scoring six goals and four assists, including four goals against Towson. Moore has scored multiple points in each of RMU’s past nine games and currently leads the team in assists with 13. Moore and Tao-Brambleby are tied for first in the CAA for points per game with 3.5. The Colonials have a full week off before hitting the road this weekend. No. 6 Hofstra will welcome Robert Morris to Hempstead, N.Y., for an opening faceoff at noon, March 28.
SACRED HEART (2-5, 0-1 CAA): The Pioneers lost their CAA opener to No. 6 Hofstra, falling 6-5 March 21 at Campus Field. It was the closest Sacred Heart has come to beating Hofstra in the series’ eight meetings all-time. Timmy Katz scored four of SHU’s five goals to extend his team leading total to 14 on the season. Katz’s four goals are the most for a Pioneer in a single game this season. Dennis Gannon scored the only other goal for Sacred Heart. Zack Frank made a season-high 13 saves on 19 shots faced. Zack Smith won 11-of-14 faceoffs on the afternoon against Towson. The Pioneers will play their second-straight CAA contest at home against their second-straight ranked opponent when No. 19 Villanova visits March 28. Opening faceoff against the Wildcats is slated for 7 p.m.
TOWSON (2-4, 1-0 CAA): Towson snapped a three-game losing streak with an 11-9 victory over Robert Morris in the CAA opener for both teams March 21. CAA Player of the Week Bill McCutcheon tallied his second “hat trick” of the season and the sixth of his career with the four goals. McCutcheon has scored a goal in six-straight games and is the only Tiger to score in all six games this year. Mitchell Rosensweig won a career-high 17 faceoffs against Robert Morris Saturday, and now has a .683 winning percentage in faceoffs over the last two games. Randall Cooper tallied his first multi-goal game of the season and the seventh of his career with a season-high two goals against Robert Morris. Cooper also extended a streak of consecutive games with an assist to eight games. Pat Britton, who faced his former team on Saturday, scored a goal for the third-straight game and leads the team with three extra-man goals. The Tigers travel to Bucknell March 24 at 7:30 p.m., for a non-conference contest. Towson then goes back on the road for CAA action at Drexel March 28. Opening faceoff against the Dragons is slated for 3 p.m., in a game which will be live on The Comcast Network.
No. 19 VILLANOVA (6-1, 1-0 CAA): The 19th-ranked Wildcats moved to 6-1 on the year for the first time since 2004, after a 5-4 win over CAA rival Delaware March 21. Villanova, which moved to 5-4 all-time against the Blue Hens, earned its first win over Delaware since the 2004 season. Chris Aitken led the Wildcats with two goals off the bench in the win over Delaware, while three others posted a goal apiece. Goalkeeper Andrew DiLoreto continues his dominating performance in the net for Villanova. The senior leads the league with a 5.51 goals-against average, and ranks second among CAA goalkeepers with a save percentage mark of .604. Against Delaware, DiLoreto faced a total of 14 shots and stopped 10 on the way to his sixth win of the year. The Wildcats will continue its CAA slate March 28 when they travel to Fairfield, Conn., for a 7 p.m., contest against Sacred Heart.