May 3, 2011

CUA meets Scranton in Landmark Conference tourney semifinals

WASHINGTON – The CUA men's lacrosse team is back in the postseason for a second straight year, beginning on Wednesday when the Cardinals travel to Pennsylvania to take on Scranton in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference Tournament.  Last year CUA advanced to its first-ever Landmark Conference championship game.

CUA has revenge on its mind after the Cardinals fell to Scranton this past weekend 12-10 at home.  Trailing 6-3 midway through the second quarter, CUA stormed back with four straight goals to surge in front of the Royals 7-6 at halftime, but Scranton outscored the Cardinals 4-1 in the third to regain the lead and held on from there. 

Chris Fuccillo netted a team-high four goals on the day, while Brendan Englert and Bobby Kusbit found the back of the net twice.

Englert leads CUA on offense this season with 23 assists and 59 points.  The freshman has scored 36 goals, including three game-winners, and scooped up 34 ground balls as well.  Senior Jimmy Sinnott is the leading goal scorer with 39, with Fuccillo (36), Tyler Catalani (18), Camden Feldman (16) and Kusbit (13) joining him in double figures.

Tom Scotto is the Cardinals top face-off man, having won 212 of 337 in the X, good for 62.9 percent, which ranks 22nd nationally.  He has also picked up a team-leading 110 GBs, which is good for 25th in the nation.

Rob Ryan (21) and Ryan Doyle (19) lead the squad in caused turnovers, with Fuccillo (9) and Jack Drexel (8) next in line.

In goal for CUA Sean McKenna has started all 16 games and logged over 938 minutes during that time.  He has stopped 160 shots and posted a save percentage of 55 percent.

Scranton enters Wednesday's game with a 3-2 record within the Landmark Conference, which is the same as CUA, but the Royals earned the right to host the contest by virtue of their win last weekend.

Five Scranton players have scored at least ten goals, led by Taylor Nelson with 26 and Mike Rufo with 21.  Sean Coleman is the top assist man with 15 and Patrick Cefalu has won over 62 percent of his face-offs (190-306), good for 27th in America.

Cefalu has also scooped up 114 ground balls, while Tim Cleary is one of five Royals with at least ten caused turnovers (13).  Scranton's top goalkeeper is Jeremy Dowiak, who has started 13 of 14 games and stopped 94 shots on the season.  He is allowing 11.1 goals per game and has a goals against average of .487.

Scranton leads the all-time series between the schools 4-1, with CUA's lone win coming last season, a 7-3 win in Pennsylvania.

This year marks CUA's second trip all-time to the Landmark Conference Tournament, while Scranton will be making its third appearance.

The Cardinals and Royals will get things started beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.  The other semifinal pits top-seeded Goucher vs. No. 4 Susquehanna.  The winners of the two semifinal contests will then meet on Saturday, May 7 in the 2011 Landmark Conference championship game.

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