Article Image
Courtesy: CAA
Mark Selders/Penn State Athletic Communications

2013 Men's Lacrosse Championship Preview

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 04/30/2013
Send this article to a friend Print RSS

RICHMOND, Va. (April 30, 2013) -- The 2013 CAA Men's Lacrosse Championship is set to face-off on Wednesday, May 1st in University Park, Pa. The championship will begin as top-seeded Penn State will host #4 Massachusetts in the first semifinal contest at 3 p.m., followed by second-seeded Drexel versus third-seeded Towson in the second semifinal contest at 5:30 p.m.

The tournament, which will be hosted at Penn State in a final four format will wrap up on Friday, May 3rd, as the winner of the the semifinal contests battle at 3 p.m., for the 2013 title. All games of the championship will be played at Penn State Lacrosse Field.

The 9th-ranked Nittany Lions bring a 11-3 overall record to the field after posting a perfect 6-0 mark in CAA action and will be making their third-straight CAA postseason appearance. Penn State enters Wednesday's contest riding a nation-leading nine-game winning streak.

PSU is led by senior Jack Forster's 52 points (36 goals, 16 assists) on the season, while freshman TJ Sanders has led the Nittany Lions and the league with 37 goals this season. Penn State's defense is led by junior goalkeeper Austin Kaut's league-leading 6.95 goals against average. Kaut also leads the CAA in save percentage (.629) and is second among all conference goalkeepers with 11.64 saves per game.

Drexel earned its second straight bid to the CAA postseason and its seventh overall appearance in the league championship. The 18th-ranked Dragons wrapped up the regular season with a 14-8 non-conference win over High Point to extend their home winning record to 8-0 on the season. Drexel brings an 11-3 overall mark to the tournament after finishing 5-1 in conference action.

The Dragons are led by junior Ben McIntosh's league-leading 54 points (36 goals, 18 assists). McIntosh recently became the first Drexel player in two decades to top the 50-point mark in one-season. He also leads the league in game-winning goals (6) and points per game (3.86). Senior Robert Church has dished out 22 assists to lead the Dragons and ranks second in the league in assists per game (1.57).  Sophomore Nick Suputo leads the CAA in ground balls per game with 7.50 per outing.

Towson, which went 8-7 overall and 4-2 in CAA play, is making its second-straight postseason appearance in the CAA championship and will look to take the title for the first time since winning it three years straight from 2003-05.

The Tigers' defense is anchored by senior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage and his league-leading 13.8 saves per game, which ranks fifth among the national leaders. He is the only keeper to tabulate over 200 saves this season (207), while PSU's Kaut follows at 163. Junior Thomas DeNapoli leads the Tigers in points per game (3.53) and goals per game (2.53) and ranks fourth in the CAA in both categories.

Massachusetts enters the tournament with a 7-7 overall mark and finished the conference schedule with a 2-4 mark, winning its last two against Hofstra and Delaware to earn the final seed. The Minutemen, who were the preseason favorite by a vote of the CAA head coaches, suffered some injuries throughout the year, but posted victories over nationally-ranked North Carolina (#7) and Lehigh (#16), as well as the Pride of Hofstra (#20).

The Minutemen are led by senior Kyle Smith's 29 goals on the season and in total points with 47.  Senior Will Manny leads the league in assists per game with 1.80 apg, despite being out five games due to injury. UMass is also led by freshman goalkeeper Zach Oliveri, who is third in the conference with a 8.53 goal against average and fourth with a .563 save percentage.

Tickets for each session will be $8 for adults and $5 for students. Students from participating schools will receive free admission with a valid ID. Fans not able to attend the championship action can watch live coverage of all three games free on CAA.TV and various Comcast SportsNet regional websites, including csnwashington.com, csnphilly.com and csnne.com.

Complete championship information can be found on CAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Central.

2013 CAA Men's Lacrosse Championship
Hosted at Penn State University at Penn State Lacrosse Field
University Park, Pa.

Semifinals - May 1
Game 1:  #1 Penn State vs. #4 Massachusetts - 3:00 p.m.
Game 2: #2 Drexel vs. #3 Towson  - 5:30 p.m.

Championship - May 3
Game 3: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 - 3:00 p.m.