Men's Lacrosse Opens 2012 Season at No. 16 Delaware
MOUNT ST. MARY'S (0-0) at No. 16 DELAWARE (2-2)
Saturday, February 25, 2012, 12:00 p.m.
Newark, Del. * Delaware Stadium
MOUNT UPDATE: Mount St. Mary's opens its 43rd season of lacrosse on Saturday at Delaware. Under the direction of two-time NEC Coach of the Year Tom Gravante, the Mount went 9-6 last season while winning the NEC regular season title with a 4-1 league record. The Mount earned the right to host the inaugural NEC Tournament, and posted 14-9 wins over Bryant and Quinnipiac to win the championship.
The Mount returns three First Team All-NEC selections in Brett Schmidt, Bryant Schmidt and Andrew Scalley. Scalley led the Mountaineers with 38 goals and 52 points at the attack position in 2011. He enters the season having recorded at least one point in all 32 career games he has played. Brett Schmidt had 34 goals and 16 assists last season on attack for the Mount while twin brother Bryant, a midfielder, tallied 19 goals and nine assists.
ABOUT THE BLUE HENS: Delaware is 2-2 on the season after an 8-6 loss to No. 3 Johns Hopkins on Tuesday night. Delaware cut the deficit to 7-6 with just over five minutes left, but could not complete the comeback against Johns Hopkins. Grant Kaleikau leads Delaware in scoring with seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in just four games played. Danny Keane has nine goals and two assists while Sean Finegan has eight goals already this year. In goal, Chris Herbert has a 9.08 goals against average while making 44 saves so far this year.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES: Delaware holds a 10-0 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1998. The teams met each season from 1998-2007, but this will be the first meeting five years between the two squads. The closest game in the series was a 9-6 Delaware win on March 5, 2003. The Blue Hens defeated the Mount, 19-5, on March 6, 2007, in the last matchup. The Mount is 0-5 all-time on the road against the Blue Hens.
THE MOUNT vs. RANKED OPPONENTS: Mount St. Mary's is 2-43 all-time against ranked opponents since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89. The wins both came in 2010 when the Mount defeated #10 Lafayette (14-12) and #19 Robert Morris (19-13). This will be the Mount's first game against a ranked opponent since opening the 2011 season with a 22-6 loss at #1 Virginia. The Mount is 0-4 vs. Delaware when the Blue Hens have been ranked in the top 20.
SCALLEY'S STREAK: Junior attack Andrew Scalley has recorded at least one point in all 32 career games he has played. Scalley has accumulated 70 goals and 31 assists for 101 points during the streak, which began in his first collegiate game on Feb. 23, 2010, against Virginia. Scalley's streak is the sixth-longest in the country right now, behind Cornell's Rob Pannell (52), Denver's Alex Demopoulos (36), Albany's Joe Resetartis (35), Bryant's Peter McMahon (33) and Ohio State's Logan Schuss (33).
IN THE CAGE: Sophomore Chris Klaiber has big shoes to fill in the cage for the Mountaineers. Klaiber takes over for All-Conference goalkeeper T.C. DiBartolo, who was the 2011 NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Klaiber appeared in four games last year, posting a 9.68 goals against average and a .500 save percentage in 24:48 of playing time.
LOOKING FOR A THREE-PEAT: The Mount has won conference championships in each of the past two seasons. In 2010, the Mount defeated Siena, 7-6, in the championship game in the team's final season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Last year, the Mount posted a 14-9 win over Quinnipiac in the inaugural season for the Northeast Conference.
SITTING OUT: Three seniors are redshirting for the Mount this season. Attack Cody Lehrer, midfielder Eric Ososki and long stick midfielder Mark Burns will each sit out the 2012 season. Lehrer has 96 goals and 28 assists for 124 career points in 47 games at the Mount. He had 33 goals and 10 assists last year, finishing third on the team with 43 points. Ososki has tallied 28 goals and 17 assists for 45 points in 35 games at the Mount while Burns has six goals and three assists while picking up 69 ground balls in 37 career games.
PRESEASON POLL: The Mount was selected as the Preseason favorite in the annual Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches poll. The Mount received four of the six first-place votes in the poll and ranked ahead of Byrant, Robert Morris, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Wagner.
THE NORTHEAST CONFERENCE: The Northeast Conference begins its second season sponsoring men's lacrosse in 2012. The six schools include the Mount, Bryant, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart and Wagner. The league does not get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament until 2013.
HEAD COACH TOM GRAVANTE: Head coach Tom Gravante is beginning his 17th season on the Mount sidelines. Gravante has been named Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in each of the past two seasons. He has guided the Mount to the NCAA Tournament in both 2003 and 2010 and he was named the MAAC Coach of the Year on four occasions. Gravante has 116 career wins, just four shy of matching Randy Kilgore for the all-time Mount record of 120.
UP NEXT: It doesn't get easier for the Mount as top-ranked Virginia visits Waldron Family Stadium at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28.