Men’s Lacrosse To Play Top Seed and No. 1 Ranked Denver In BIG EAST Tournament Semifinal

May 4, 2016

Providence, R.I. -

The Providence College men’s lacrosse team (7-8) will travel to Denver, Colo. to compete in the programs’ first ever BIG EAST Tournament against top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Denver (12-1) on Thursday, May 5. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. ET start and will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network.

 

Live Stats: Gametracker 

Gamenotes: Providence at Denver

Twitter: @PCFriarsLax

 

Series History vs. Denver

First Meeting: PC 7, Denver 8 (2000)


 

 

Last Meeting: PC 7, Denver 17 (2016)

All-Time Series: Denver leads 6-0-0

 

First BIG EAST Tournament Appearance

With the loss against Villanova on April 30, the Friars finished in a three-way tie for fourth place in the BIG EAST Conference final standings with St. John’s and Georgetown, but earned the No. 4 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament by virtue of tie-breaking procedures. This marks the first time the Friars have advanced to the BIG EAST Tournament since the conference began sponsoring men’s lacrosse in 2010.

 

Where To Next

If the Friars win on Thursday, they will advance to the BIG EAST Championship game to be played against the winner of the Marquette/Villanova semifinal at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 7.

 

Scouting The Pioneers

The Denver Pioneers secured the No. 1 seed heading into the BIG EAST Tournament after defeating Marquette, 14-11, on Saturday April 30 to secure the BIG EAST regular season title. The Pioneers were ranked No. 1 in the most recent USILA/Nike Div. I Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Poll (May 2) and have a 12-1 (5-0 BIG EAST) record.

 

Connor Cannizzaro leads the Pioneers in scoring with 40 goals and 21 assists for 61 points. Tyler Pace and Zach Miller are sitting in second and third on the team, respectively. Pace has tallied 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points, while Miller owns 19 goals and 18 assists for 27 points. Additionally, Denver’s top-seven scorers have each collected 10 goals or more during the season.

 

Defensively, Trevor Baptiste has asserted his dominance picking up 129 ground balls and finishing the regular season 220-321 at the face-off ‘X’.

 

Goaltender Alex Ready has started all 13 games in net for the Pioneers, collecting 120 saves for a .533 save percentage and a 8.93 goals-against average.

 

The two teams have met six times in the history of the two programs prior to this weekend, with Denver leading the series, 6-0.

 

Providence Versus Denver In Regular Season

The Friars fell to then-ranked No. 2 Denver, 17-7, on April 23. Providence ended the first half down just one goal against the nationally ranked Pioneers (6-5). Senior Will Mazzone tallied a hat trick and an assist in his final home game at Providence, while freshman Brendan Kearns recorded two goals and two assists for the Friars.

 

Last Time Out

Providence fell at Villanova, 14-7, on Saturday, April 30. Senior Will Mazzone (Stony Brook, N.Y.) paced the effort with four points on three goals and one assist, while senior Nolan Fillet (Rockville, Md.) registered two goals and one assist for three points. At the half, the score was 6-4, in favor of the Wildcats. Villanova broke the game open with three unanswered goals in the third quarter and outscored PC 5-3 in the fourth quarter to secure the win. 

 

Scouting the Friars

So far this season, Mazzone leads the team in goals (36), assists (23) and points (59). Freshman Brendan Kearns (Wantagh, N.Y.) ranks second in each of those categories with 22 goals, 18 assists and 40 points. Junior Jimmy Cunningham (Syracuse, N.Y.) leads Providence with 51 ground balls, while junior Jarrod Neumann (Springfield, Mass.) owns 42. Tate Boyce has started all 15 games for Providence, collecting 173 saves. Boyce enters the weekend with a 10.31 goals-against average and a .536 save percentage. 

 

The Friars were picked to finish fifth in the BIG EAST Preseason poll after finishing with a 5-9 (1-4 BIG EAST) record during the 2015 season. Four of the top six scorers from last season returned to the field in 2016, including Will Mazzone, Michael Perettine, Joshua Keller and Keenan Assaraf. Mazzone was last year’s leader in goals (24) and points (35) and also tied for the lead in assists with 11, while Perettine tied for second on the team in goals, with 16. 

 

Additionally, Neumann returned for the Friars on defense and was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team on Jan. 25, the NEILA Preseason All-New England First Team on Feb. 8 and was also named a Preseason All-America Honorable Mention selection in December by Inside Lacrosse.

 

Four Friars Named To All-BIG EAST Teams

The BIG EAST announced its All-Conference and Major Award winners on May 3. Jarrod Neumann and Tate Boyce were named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, while Will Mazzone and Michael Perettine were named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team. The Friars’ four All-BIG EAST selections are the most for the program in a single season since the conference began sponsoring lacrosse in 2010.

 

During Providence College’s seven-year stint as members of the BIG EAST Conference, seven players have earned All-BIG EAST honors, including this year’s list of honorees. Only three players all-time have been named to the First Team, and include Neumann, Boyce and Peter Badgley ’15.

 

Mazzone, The Multi-Point Machine

Senior Will Mazzone leads the Friars in scoring this season and has done so by tallying multiple points in every game he has played, including three eight-point efforts in wins against Holy Cross (Feb. 12), UMass Lowell (Mar. 22) and St. John’s (April 2).

 

Mazzone, Assaraf and Kearns Lead the Friars in Multi-Goal Games

Will Mazzone leads the Friars with eight multi-goal games this season, followed by Keenan Assaraf (seven) and Brendan Kearns (six).  Mazzone’s highest goal-scoring total in a single game this season is six – which he recorded in games vs. Holy Cross and St. John’s.  Kearns netted a career-high total of four goals against Holy Cross, while Assaraf picked up four hat tricks on the season for his single-game career high in goals (three).  Additionally, Mazzone leads the Friars with six hat tricks, followed by four from Assaraf and three from Kearns.

 

Amongst The Best In The Nation

The Friars are ranked 19th in the nation in caused turnovers per game (7.53). Tate Boyce also ranks 12th in the nation in saves per game (11.53), while Will Mazzone is ranked 19th for points per game (3.93) and Keenan Assaraf sits in ninth for shot percentage (0.455).

 

Top Of The BIG EAST

Providence currently tops the BIG EAST for caused turnovers/game (7.53), and sits second in penalty-killing percentage (.677), while Tate Boyce ranks second in the league in saves per game (11.53).

 

Strong Freshman Class

Providence’s freshman class has had a strong showing this season. The rookie’s, including Brendan Kearns, Joseph McHale, Nick Hatzipetrakos, David Procopio, Alex George, Duncan McGinnis and Chris Zanelli, have combined for 37 goals and 39 assists for 76 points during the regular season.

 

Friars Received Votes in the National Polls

After their 12-7 upset of then ranked No. 12 Hofstra on March 19, the Friars received votes in the USILA/Nike Division I Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Poll released on Mar. 22.

 

Brendan Kearns Earns Multiple Player of the Week Honors

Kearns registered three goals and two assists for five points in the Friars’ 12-7 upset over then ranked No. 12 Hofstra on March 19 to earn BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week and Epoch/Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week on March 21. The win was the first time that the Friars have defeated a ranked opponent since April 28, 2012.

 

Will Mazzone Named BIG EAST Offensive Player Of The Week Twice

Mazzone has been named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week twice this season. Both of his honors came after eight-point efforts, including a six goal, two assist performance in the Friars’ victory over Holy Cross (Feb. 12) and another six goal, two assist effort in the Friars’ 15-10 win over St. John’s on April 2.

 

The Holy Cross game marked a single-game career high in goals and points for Mazzone, while the St. John’s game tied that career high.

 

Mazzone Hits 100 Career Points

Prior to the Holy Cross game on Feb. 12, Mazzone had a total of 98 career points. With his second of six goals in that game, he hit the 100 career points mark and then surpassed it during the game. After the April 30 game at Villanova, Mazzone collected four points to add his collegiate career total (147).

 

Mazzone Moving Up Career Rankings

Mazzone currently ranks tied for eighth all-time in career scoring at Providence (including two seasons at West Point – 2013-14), tied for sixth in career goals (90) and is 11th in career assists (57).

 

Fifty-Nine And Counting

Will Mazzone’s 59 points this season are the most by a Friar since the 2002 campaign.  That year, Kyle Ojakian notched the Friars’ current single-season record of 63 points on 21 goals and 42 assists.

2016 Providence College Individual Award Winners
Jarrod Neumann
- Preseason NEILA All-New England First Team (Feb. 8)
- Preseason All-BIG EAST Team (Jan. 25)
- Preseason All-America Honorable Mention (Dec. 9)
- BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (April 18)

- All-BIG EAST First Team (May 3)
Will Mazzone
- BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week (Feb. 15 & April 4)
- BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Mar. 7, Mar. 14 & April 25)

- All-BIG EAST Second Team (May 3)
James Barclay
- BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Feb. 15)
Tate Boyce
- BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Feb. 22)
- All-BIG EAST First Team (May 3)
Connor Byrne
- BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Feb. 29)
Brendan Kearns
- BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week (Mar. 21)
- Epoch/Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week (Mar. 21)
Jimmy Cunningham
- BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Mar. 28)
Michael Perettine
- BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Mar. 28)

- All-BIG EAST Second Team (May 3)

- GO FRIARS – 

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