PREVIEW: No. 17 men's lacrosse to battle Saint Rose on Tuesday

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College men's lacrosse team has qualified for the Northeast-10 Conference playoffs for the third-straight season and will take on the College of Saint Rose in a First Round fixture this Tuesday, May 1.

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The fifth-seeded Hawks will battle the fourth-seeded Golden Knights at 4 p.m. on Tuesday in Albany. Both teams entered Saturday's regular-season finale with home field advantage in the playoffs on the line and Saint Rose was able to eke out a one-goal win, breaking the head-to-head tie with the result.

Saint Anselm sprinted out to a 9-4 record during the regular season, winning seven out of 11 games against league opponents. Saint Rose won its final five games of the regular season, entering play with a 9-7 overall record. Both teams posted 7-4 conference records during the year with Saint Rose earning the higher seed due to its win over the Hawks on Saturday.

The winner of Tuesday's tilt will take on Le Moyne at 12 p.m. on Friday, May 4 in the NE10 Semifinals.

LAST TIME OUT: In Saturday's 12-11 loss to Saint Rose, freshman Matt Ward continued to pace the Hawks offense, scoring three goals and adding two assists for a team-best five points (3-2=5). In his last seven games, the first year has scored 20 goals and added eight assists for 28 points (20-8=28).

Junior Anthony Busconi and senior Ryan Hesseltine each scored three goals – junior Xavier Quinn also had a multiple-point performance, scoring twice and adding an assist. Junior Patrick Sweeney and freshman Sean Tomaszewski each had assists and first year Griffin Shoemaker rounded out the point scoring with two helpers of his own.

Saint Rose sprinted out to a 4-1 lead through the game's first 15:33 despite Hesseltine scoring the game's first goal only 2:09 into the contest.

The resilient Hawks scored the game's next eight goals and blanked the Golden Knights across 23:02 of game play.

Saint Rose would overwhelm the Hawks in the final 20-plus minutes of action, however, scoring eight of the game's final 10 goals to stun the visitors. The Golden Knights won 10 of the game's last 14 face-offs and scored two man-up goals – the hosts were aided by a 22-to-17 edge in ground balls in the second half.

Junior Nick Richard made 14 saves, drawing the loss by allowing 12 goals. Liam Guiton picked up his ninth victory in goal for Saint Rose, making 13 saves.

Carter Badour paced Saint Rose with five goals. Matt Graham scored four goals and two assists in the winning effort.

SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM

  • The Hawks are averaging 12.85 goals per game in 2018, the most in a single season in team history
  • With a .576 combined team save percentage, the Hawks rank third in the league behind Le Moyne (.620) and Saint Rose (.601)
  • Saint Anselm's 39.6% man-up percentage is second among NE10 schools, trailing Franklin Pierce (43.2%)
  • The team's 43.77 shots per game stand as the second-most in a single season in program history
  • Sweeney needs only four points of offense for 100 across a three-year career on the Hilltop – he has potted 27 goals and 12 assists for 39 points (27-12=39) and has potted three game-winning goals in 2018
  • Hesseltine has had a breakout season for the Hawks, scoring 22 points with as many assists for 44 points (22-22=44) – he entered his junior campaign with 23 goals and 10 assists for 33 points (23-10=33) across two complete seasons
  • Hesseltine ranks fifth in the NE10 with 22 assists
  • Busconi has set single-season personal bests in goals scored (32) and points scored (32-12=44) – his six man-up goals in 2018 are the sixth-most in a single season by a Hawks student-athlete
  • Ward has led the Hawks freshmen in goal scoring (27), scoring just over two goals per game while handing out 14 assists – he has recorded five points in a game on two occasions and scored a season-best four goals against Pace on Apr. 11
  • Senior Derrick LaBranche leads the NE10 in caused turnovers with 25 to his credit
  • Only playing in five career games entering the 2018 season, Richard has posted 120 saves this year en route to a 9-4 record in goal for the Hawks – he has averaged 8.34 goals-against across just over 650 minutes

SCOUTING SAINT ROSE

  • Saint Rose leads the NE10 in ground balls, corralling 474 loose balls in 16 games – three student-athletes on the Golden Knights roster rank within the top-10 individually in ground balls
  • The Golden Knights' .601 save percentage is second among NE10 programs
  • Badour is second in the conference with 42 goals scored, trailing Merrimack's Bertrand by only four tallies
  • Graham is second on the team with 35 goals and Jordyn Marchiano is third with 26 goals - the fourth-best goal scorer, Jack Pemrick, has put home only eight goals
  • Saint Rose is fourth in the nation in saves (233) and ninth in saves per game (14.56)
  • The Golden Knights are committed an average of 13.69 turnovers per game, the 11th-best figure in NCAA Division II
  • Guiton is fifth in NCAA Division II in save percentage (0.600) and sixth in saves per game (13.69)
  • Across the team's five-game winning streak entering play on Tuesday, the team has fired at least 31 shots in each of those five games while scoring a minimum of 10 goals

NE10 POSTSEASON ALL-TIME: The Hawks are 2-12 all-time in the NE10 Tournament, having last won a postseason contest against a league foe in 2009, a narrow 14-13 win over Saint Michael's. Saint Anselm has qualified for postseason play in all but one year since 2012. Saint Rose made its debut as a varsity program during the 2012 season and has not qualified for postseason play until this year.

THE SCIAMANNA FILE: Third-year Head Coach Mike Sciamanna has guided the Hawks to a 25-16 record since his debut during the 2015 season, piloting the Hawks to three-straight NE10 postseason appearances. Assuming the reins of a program that won only two games in 2015, Sciamanna recorded back-to-back eight win seasons in 2016 and 2017 and saw the start of his team's recognition on the national level. In 2018, the Hawks entered the year ranked in several preseason coaches' polls and ranked as high as 16th in NCAA Division II this season.

ALL-TIME vs. SAINT ROSE: The Hawks hold a 5-2 advantage against the Golden Knights since 2012, the first year of varsity competition at Saint Rose. The largest margin of victory came in 2014's 14-5 victory over Saint Rose on Apr. 26, 2014. Three of the all-time meetings against the Golden Knights have been one-goal affairs, including this past Saturday's 12-11 loss in Albany.

NOTABLES: The Hawks have not finished above .500 in three-straight seasons since the program's inception in 1994 – the team has recorded a 9-4 overall record entering play on Tuesday… Saturday's loss to Saint Rose was the first at the hands of an unranked opponent since Apr. 20, 2016, a 13-12 defeat at Southern New Hampshire University…Saint Rose defeated its first ranked opponent since the 2012 campaign with Saturday's result.