Saturday, March 31, 2012 – 1 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-6, 0-0 NEC) at
Mount St. Mary's University Mountaineers (3-4, 0-0 NEC)
Waldron Family Stadium – Emmitsburg, Md.
2011 Finals Rematch: Men's Lacrosse Opens NEC Play At Mount St. Mary's
Fresh off a thrilling one-goal victory last week, the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team (1-6, 0-0 NEC) will look to carry the momentum into its Northeast Conference opener on Saturday. The Bobcats' first NEC match-up poses a difficult opponent in Mount St. Mary's (3-4, 0-0 NEC), a team that earned its second consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Mountaineers clipped QU in the NEC finals, concluding the Bobcats' 2011 campaign.
Scouting the Mountaineers
The Mountaineers have a 3-4 record, following a win against first-year program Michigan last Saturday. The Mount was selected the preseason favorite to win the Northeast Conference after winning the conference's inaugural title in 2011. Mount St. Mary's averages nine goals for per game, while permitting 10.17 goals against. Twin brothers Brett and Bryant Schmidt pace the Mountaineers with 17 and 13 goals, respectively. Brett, an attackman, also has six assists for a team-best 23 points. Bryant, a midfielder, is tied for third on the team in points with 15. Andrew Scalley has nine goals and 11 assists and Daniel Stranix has nine goals and six assists to round out the leading scorers. Face-off man Jon Marsalese has been efficient winning 54 percent of his draws. Goalie Chris Klaiber has made 71 saves and has a save percentage of .522.
Last Time Against The Mount
Christian Haggerty and Kevin Kelly scored three goals each, but the Bobcats concluded the 2011 campaign with a loss to top-seeded Mount St. Mary's, 14-9, in the Northeast Conference Championship Game at Waldron Family Stadium. Haggerty also added an assist, while Basil Kostaras had two goals and Jack Oppenheimer had a goal and an assist for the Bobcats. Kevin Benzing made 11 saves in defeat for the Bobcats. Bobby Schnibbe picked up a team-high four ground balls.
Last Time Out Against Binghamton
Jay Binkowski scored the game-winning goal with just 40 seconds remaining on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats upended Binghamton University, 12-11, at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field. The Bobcats held the Bearcats off in the waning moments, leaving Binkowski's third tally of the game as the difference. Quinnipiac placed six difference players in the scoring column of the box score. Quinnipiac gathered more groundballs, 35-29, face-offs, 15-11, and went 14-of-15 on attempts to clear the ball. Each team had 23 turnovers and Binghamton edged QU in shots, 31-29. Freshman Dylan Torey collected his first career win between the pipes. He made nine saves opposed to seven from his counterpart.
Tune In Live Saturday
Saturday's game can be seen live through Mountaineers TV by clicking the appropriate link on the official website of QU athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com. Fans can also tune into live stats as well.
Among The Nation's Best
Dylan Webster currently ranks third in the country in groundballs per game. The sophomore attackman is averaging 7.43 per game, also placing him second in the Northeast Conference.
Copp Causin' Turnovers
Chris Coppolecchia ranks seventh in the nation in caused turnovers per game. He is averaging 2.29 per outing, placing him atop the Northeast Conference as well.
Lending A Helping Hand
Freshman Matt Diehl has stepped into his midfield role very nicely this season. Diehl has 11 assists thus far, accumulating to a 1.33 per game average. He is tied for second in the Northeast Conference and ranks 29th in all of Division I.
With his seventh goal of the season against Hartford on Mar. 17, Basil Kostaras has recorded a point in 11 straight games, a streak that dates back to April 16, 2011. Kostaras has 19 goals and seven assists during the span.
Brandon Kuring and Daniel Webster each scored four goals against Hartford on Mar. 17. Kuring, who entered the game with one goal to his name, was tremendous adding two assists for a six-point outing. Webster continued his early season success with five groundballs to go along with his four points.
Basil Approaching QU Record Books
Basil Kostaras is inching closer towards embedding his name in the career record books at Quinnipiac. The junior midfielder is eight goals away (32), eight assists away (20) and 13 points (52) away from cracking top-20 in all three categories.
The Bobcats have started five or more freshmen in their first seven games this season, the most in the Northeast Conference. Several have made an immediate impact both offensively and defensively for QU.
Another Hat Trick For Webster
Dylan Webster's tally in the fourth quarter against Saint Joseph's on Mar. 13 granted the sophomore attackman his second hat trick of the season. Webster opened the Bobcats' scoring column 7:08 seconds into the game, scored his second goal 3:58 seconds into the second frame and completed the trick early on in the last stanza.
NEC Rookie Of The Week
Freshman Michael Sagl was tabbed the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week, announced on Monday, March 12, 2012 by the league office. Sagl had the hot stick for the Bobcats last week, as the West Islip, N.Y. native scored five times and handed out three assists in two home games. Against now No. 13 nationally ranked Fairfield, Sagl assisted on his team's first goal in the opening quarter before striking late in the fourth during a comeback attempt that fell short, 9-6. He then reeled off a career-high four goals – all in the second half - and picked up two assists in a 13-10 loss to Detroit Mercy.
Way To Go Webster
2011 All-Rookie Team honoree Dylan Webster scored a career-high four goals against No. 17 nationally ranked Fairfield on March 7. The sophomore attackman from Brampton, Ontario netted a goal in each quarter, including a game-tying tally three minutes into the second frame.
Basil Kostaras netted a natural hat trick in the first quarter against Brown on Feb. 26. The junior midfielder put the Bobcats in front just four minutes into the game, followed with his second goal of the game two minutes later and completed the trick with 2:46 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Kostaras also added an assist on the afternoon.
With such a talented group full of youth, Quinnipiac will be heavily reliant on its veteran leadership. Captains Chris Coppolecchia, Jay Binkowski and Basil Kostaras will be called upon to lead a corps of inexperience in their quest for another Championship run.
Some New Faces
When asked about the 2012 season, Head Coach Erik Fekete always references the team's youth as his first obstacle. The Bobcats welcome 25 new faces to the program this year, a figure that includes 23 freshmen. In their first scrimmage, Fekete had eight newcomers on the pitch for the sound of the opening whistle.
Bobcats Grab Share of NEC Regular Season Championship
With a win in the final week of the 2011 season at Wagner and a Mount St. Mary's double-overtime defeat to Bryant, Quinnipiac claimed a share of the inaugural NEC Men's Lacrosse Regular Season Championship. By virtue of the Mountaineers' 16-10 victory against QU on April 16, Mount St. Mary's took the tie-breaker and the right to host the NEC Tournament.
A Postseason Appearance: Nothing New For QU
Quinnipiac made its third postseason conference tournament appearance in as many chances last season. QU faced Notre Dame as the No. 4 seed in both the 2008 and 2009 Great Western Lacrosse League semifinals, while ECAC Lacrosse did not sponsor a tournament in 2010, when QU finished third in the league.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Saturday, April 7 with a crucial showdown against Wagner. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field. For all the latest news, scorers and highlights pertaining to the Quinnipiac Men's Lacrosse Program, please visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Contact: Tony Distasio; email@example.com