BUFFALO, N.Y. - Marist enters the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Men’s Lacrosse Tournament as the top seed and will open against fourth-seeded Detroit in Friday’s first semifinal at 4:15 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 with Dave Miller and Andrew Peters providing the on-air talent and Mike Scott as the sideline reporter
The Red Foxes finished the regular season at 10-3, earning the most wins in a season since 2004. Their 5-1 MAAC record gave them a share of the MAAC Regular Season Championship, sharing the honor with Jacksonville. Marist defeated the Dolphins 14-11 on April 13 to earn the tiebreaker and claim the #1 seed.
Friday’s winner will advance to play the victor of second-seeded Jacksonville and third-seeded Siena in the MAAC Championship game. That game will take play on Sunday at 1 p.m. and can also be seen on Time Warner Cable and ESPN3.
On Thursday evening, all four teams will meet at 7 p.m. for the MAAC Awards Banquet where the MAAC will announce the postseason awards. Along with the presentation of the Regular Season Championship trophy, the Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Long-Stick Midfielder of the Year, Face-Off Specialist of the Year and Coach of the Year awards will be handed out. The All-MAAC First and Second Teams and All-Academic Teams will also be announced.
Thursday’s banquet will be streamed live on MAAC.TV.
SCOUTING THE TITANS
Detroit enters the MAAC Tournament with an overall record of 3-9 and finished with a 3-3 mark against conference opponents. The Titans had to win on the last day of the season, defeating Canisius 13-7 to clinch a berth into the postseason.
As the team, Detroit ranks fourth in the MAAC in scoring, averaging 8.92 goals per game. The Titans play very solid defense, causing an average of 9.83 opponent turnovers per game, tops in the MAAC in that category. They are prone to take penalties, leading the conference with an average of 5.5 penalties per game, but they are second in the conference with a .698 penalty killing percentage.
The Titans are led offensively by Alex Maini and Mike Birney who have 32 and 30 points, respectively. Birney has a team-high 22 goals while Maini has 21 and is tied with Brandon Beauregard with 11 assists. Jamie Hebden Jordan Houtby lead Detroit defensively as Hebden has totaled 36 ground balls and 32 caused turnovers and Houtby has 57 ground balls and 27 caused turnovers. Damien Hicks is the Titans main face-off man, going 73-140 (.521) on the season. A.J. Levell has played and started at goalie in nine games this season. He has all three of Detroit’s wins while owing a .549 save percentage adn a 9.83 goals against average.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. DETROIT
Earlier this season, Marist defeated Detroit by a score of 11-8 in Poughkeepsie. Connor Rice and Jack Doherty each tallied five points while goalkeeper Dave Scarcello was impressive in net with seven saves. The Red Foxes responded to a scoreless opening period with five second quarter goals to take a 5-4 lead into halftime. Four straight Marist goals to open the third period put the game out of reach for good. Rice assisted on two out of Doherty’s three goals while senior Aedan Herman added two goals of his own.
The Red Foxes are 3-2 versus Detroit in the only five matchups between the two teams, all coming in the past four seasons. Included in that record is a 9-8 Titans win in the 2011 MAAC Semifinals when Marist was the second seed and Detroit was the third seed.
Connor Rice currently ranks fifth in the Marist all-time record books in all three offensive statistics. Heading into the MAAC Tournament he has 96 career goals, 96 career assists for 192 career points. With four more goals and four more assists, he will become the first Marist player to ever reach both 100 goals and 100 assists in his career.
He has registered at least one point in 56 of his 57 career games. The one game was a 20-8 loss at Siena in his junior season on April 21, 2012.
For the third consecutive season, Rice has surpassed 25 assists in a season. His 28 helpers this season are a career-high and put him in a tie for ninth for most assists in a single season in the Marist record books. He also needs just one more goal to have his third 20-goal season of his career.
Rice currently ranks fourth amongst all active Division I players with his 96 career assists.
A two-time Tewaaraton Award Watch List member, Rice currently ranks first in the MAAC in both points per game (3.6) and assists per game (2.2). Those numbers also put him near the top of the NCAA. Nationally, Rice ranks 12rh in assists per game and 28th in points per game.
Jack Doherty currently sits sixth in the Marist record books with 93 career goals. What is even more impressive is that he has done so in just three seasons as he transferred from Binghamton following his freshman year. He needs just seven more goals to become the fifth Red Fox to score 100 goals in a Marist uniform.
He also needs just 13 points to join the top-10 in Marist history in that category. He currently sits at 125 career points as he also 32 career assists to go along with his 93 goals.
This season, Doherty leads the Red Foxes with 32 goals, the third time in three years that he has reached the 30-goal plateau in a single season. The 32 goals are also a career-high for Doherty as he scored 31 as a sophomore in 2011 and 30 last season.
He currently sits atop the MAAC with his 32 goals and 2.5 goals per game average. He is also second in points per game to only classmate and teammate Connor Rice with an average of 3.4 points per game. He has also taken the most shots per game in the conference, averaging 7.5 attempts per game. Nationally, Doherty ranks 24th in goals per game and 36th in points per game.
The Marist offense ended the regular season ranked first in the MAAC and eighth in the entire country, scoring an average of 12.4 goals per game.
The Red Foxes also assisted on 95 of their 161 goals this season.
Marist scored in double figures in 11 of the 13 games this season, including each of the past four games. The Red Foxes scored 23 goals against VMI on March 30 which was the highest single-game total by a Marist team this decade.
The Red Foxes have also registered at least 20 points in seven games this season, including three of the past four games.
Also in seven games this season, Marist has attempted at least 40 shots, also reaching that plateau in three of the last four games.
As impressive as the offense has been, the defense has been just as good, if not better. The Red Foxes lead the MAAC and are ranked 18th in the NCAA, giving up just an average of 9.23 goals per game, including nine games of holding the opponent in single digits.
Marist also ranks first in the MAAC and sixth in the country in ground balls per game (36.5) and second in the conference and ninth nationally in caused turnovers per game (9.2).
The Red Foxes have scooped up at least 30 ground balls in nine games this year, including a season-high 61 against VMI on March 30. They have collected at least 40 ground balls in each of the past three games.
The defense has also been one of the best in country all season in clear percentage, finishing the regular season at 90%. In eight of the 13 games this year, the Red Foxes were at least 90% in clears, including to perfect games of 20-20 vs. VMI and 12-12 vs. Manhattan.
The special teams have been yet another strength for the Red Foxes, excelling in face-offs, man-up offense and man-down defense.
Marist is second in the MAAC and 18th in the country with a .541 faceoff winning percentage. Matt Dugan leads the way, ranking 17th in Division I with a .567 winning percentage.
The Red Foxes’ man-up unit sits fifth in the conference and 28th in the entire country, converting at a .358 (19-53) rate on the season. They have scored seven man-up goals in the past two games, including a season-high four at Saint Joseph’s on April 23.
The man-down defense ranks first in the MAAC and seventh in the nation with a .750 success rate. Marist has not given up a man-down goal in either of the past two games and have held their opponents scoreless on the power play for the past 12 opportunities.
HONORING EDDIEAs they did last season, for the entirety of this season, the Red Foxes are honoring the memory of Eddie Coombs. Each game, a member of the team will wear his #34 jersey. The player, who will be chosen by the coaches prior to each game, must earn the honor in practice and in the previous game.