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Rutgers Men’s Lacrosse Takes on Denver in BIG EAST Semis
No. 4 seeded Scarlet Knights take on the No. 1 seeded Pioneers
  • Posted on April 30, 2014 9:40:15 AM
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  • GAME NOTES

    PISCTAWAY, N.J. (April 30, 2014) – After securing the No. 4 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament with a win at Georgetown, the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team takes on top-seeded and No. 2 Denver in the conference semifinals at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pa., on Thursday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m. It marks RU’s first postseason appearance since 2004. The game is set to be broadcast on the BIG EAST Digital Network. Pat O’Keefe and Terry Mangan have the call.                      

    LIVE STREAM   LIVE STATS

    RUTGERS

    Record: 8-7, 3-3 BIG EAST

    Ranking: NR/NR (USILA Coaches/IL Media)

    Head Coach: Brian Brecht (Springfield, ‘95)

    Career Record: 81-76 (10th season)

    Record at RU: 16-27 (Third season)

    Statistical Leaders

    Goals: Scott Klimchak - 37

    Assists: Scott Bieda - 21

    Points: Scott Klimchak - 42

    GBs: Joseph Nardella - 132

    Saves: Kris Alleyne – 116

    DENVER

    Record: 12-2, 0-0 BIG EAST

    Ranking: 2/2 (USILA Coaches/IL Media)

    Head Coach: Bill Tierney (Cortland State, ‘73)

    Career Record: 334-115 (30th season)

    Record at Denver: 72-22 (Fifth season)

    Statistical Leaders

    Goals: Jack Bobzien - 34

    Assists: Jeremy Noble - 27

    Points: Jack Bobzien - 51

    GBs: Chris Hampton - 42

    Saves: Ryan LaPlante – 82

    TEAM NOTES

    - Rutgers is the No. 4 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament, its first postseason appearance since the 2004 NCAA Tournament squad.

    - With a win over Denver, Rutgers will take on the winner of second-seeded Marquette and third-seeded Villanova. The championship game will be played on Saturday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m. in Villanova Stadium. It will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.

    - RU posted its first winning regular season (8-7) since the 2007 team went 7-6.

    - With eight wins, Rutgers has tallied its most since the 2004 team went 8-6.

    - With a win over Denver, Rutgers would record its most wins (nine) since the 2003 team went 10-5.

    - The 187 goals for RU through the first 15 games of the season are the most for the squad through the first 15 contests since the 1998 team posted 200.

    - Rutgers has totaled three BIG EAST wins this season, it’s most in a year since joining the conference in 2010. That season, the Scarlet Knights won two league games.

    - RU has scored in double figures for the 12th time this season.

    - Rutgers posted four wins at home, its most since the 2011 team also recorded four.

    - RU ranks ninth in the country in scoring offense (through April 27), averaging 12.47 goals per game. Last season, the Scarlet Knights averaged 9.67 goals per game.

    TOURNAMENT INFO

    The BIG EAST Championship, which consists of the top four teams in the conference from the regular-season standings, will be played at Villanova University on May 1 and 3. Marquette secured the No. 2 seed, and faces No. 3 Villanova in the second semifinal game on Thursday at 7 p.m. The winners of the two semifinal games on Thursday will play in the title game on Saturday, May 3.

    Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for youths for each day. Fans can save money by purchasing a Championship Package that includes tickets to all three games for the flat fees of $16 for adults and $8 for youths. Fans can purchase tickets by clicking here.

    For complete tournament info, visit the BIG EAST Championship Central.

    SCOUTING THE DENVER PIONEERS

    Denver comes into the BIG EAST Championship as the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 2 nationally. The Pioneers are on a nine-game winning streak, dating back to March 8. They have wins over ranked foes Notre Dame and Penn State. DU’s only losses came at No. 1 Duke (Feb. 15) and No. 20 Penn (March 1). DU is 6-0 in conference play.

    Denver ranks fourth in the country in scoring offense (13.36/g), fifth in scoring margin (+4.71) and seventh in points per game (20.86). DU has seven All-BIG EAST selections, including six on the first team.

    Offensively, Denver has four players with 40-plus points, led by Jack Bobzien with 34 goals and 17 assists. Tewaaraton Award Watch List members Wesely Berg (33g, 15a) and Zach Miller (28g, 12a) also have 48 and 40 points, respectively. BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year Jeremy Noble leads the team with 27 assists and ranks 15th nationally in assists per game. He also has a team-high 16 caused turnovers.

    Defensively, BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year Ryan LaPlante and Jamie Faus split time. LaPlante has started 12 of the 14 games, holding a .577 save percentage.

    Bill Tierney is in his fifth season at the head coach.

    ALL-TIME SERIES

    Rutgers holds a 1-1 record all-time vs. the Pioneers. Earlier this season, Denver defeated RU, 17-11, in Denver, Colo., on March 22.

    CONNECTIONS

    Rutgers junior FO Joe Nardella (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Denver junior M Sean Cannizzaro each attended Cazenovia HS. RU sophomore D Bryan Phillips (Somers Point, N.J.) and DU GK Joey Gigantiello each attended St. Augustine Prep.

    FOUR NAMED TO SECOND TEAM ALL-BIG EAST

    Rutgers men’s lacrosse sophomore A Scott Bieda (Bridgewater, N.J.), senior D Nick Contino (Branchburg, N.J.), junior FO Joe Nardella (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and redshirt senior M Anthony Terranova (Flemington, N.J.) were each named Second Team All-BIG EAST members, the conference announced April 29. The Scarlet Knights were represented with one player in each of the position groups: attack, midfield, defense and special teams. The four league honorees are the most in a single season for the program since at least 2003, and the most since joining the BIG EAST in 2010. Nardella earned a spot for the second time in his career, also recognized on the second team last season. 

    RU SECURES BIG EAST BID WITH WIN AT GEORGETOWN

    With the help of eight goals from seniors, the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team downed Georgetown, 12-8, in Washington, D.C., April 26. The win secured the Scarlet Knights a spot as the No. 4 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. It marked the first win over the Hoyas in program history.

    KLIMCHAK IS BACK

    Redshirt senior A Scott Klimchak (Clark, N.J.) has scored two or more goals in 10 of the 15 games this season, tying his career-high with five goals in the opener vs. Manhattan (Feb. 8). He ranks 26th in the nation (through April 26) in goals/game and is currently seventh on RU’s career goals list with 123. Klimchak has 37 goals this season, three shy of tying for 10th place (40) on RU’s single season list. With three points against Villanova, he surpassed 150 career points. He now has 123-32-155 GAP. The 155 points are the most for an RU player in his career since at least 2005. Klimchak’s 23-game point scoring streak, dating back to April 14, 2012, with 57-11-68 GAP in the span, ended vs. Monmouth on March 8.

    RU Career Goals List

    5.            Ryan O’Shea (1992-95)                    128

    6.            Jack Daut (1955-57)                         124

    7.            Scott Klimchak (2010-14)               123

    BANK ON BIEDA

    Sophomore A Scott Bieda (Bridgewater, N.J.) leads RU in conference play with 25 points (13g, 12a) and is third in the BIG EAST in league-only games with 4.17 points per game. The sophomore is on a hot streak for RU, posting multiple points in eight of the last nine games. First, he earned Rutgers Player of the Game honors at No. 5 Denver for his five points on three goals and two assists. He followed that up with three more goals and two more assists vs. Marquette (March 29). Most recently vs. St. John’s (April 2), he set a career-high in points with six (three goals, three assists). He was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on April 28 for his two-goal, three assist performance at Georgetown (April 26). This season, he has proven to be the squad’s best distributor, leading RU with 21 assists.

    CIN-NARDELLA MAN

    Named an Inside Lacrosse Midseason First Team All-American on March 26, junior FO Joe Nardella (Cazenovia, N.Y.) has won an impressive 199-of-306 face-offs (.650 percent) this season and totaled 10 or more wins in all but one game he has played in. Against Richmond, he won 18-of-18 face-offs, the fifth-best 1.000 percent performance in NCAA DI history. His .650 win percentage is fourth in the nation. He also collected a career-high 17 ground balls vs. Manhattan (Feb. 8), the most for a DI player this season. On April 5 at Princeton, he won a season-high 20 face-offs. Nardella is also third in the nation (through April 26) with 10.15 ground balls per game.

    CONTINO CAUSING CHAOS

    Senior D Nick Contino (Branchburg, N.J.) has been impressive defensively this season, leading the squad with 17 CTs, including nine in BIG EAST play. At Stony Brook (March 1), he shut down the Seawolves’ Brody Eastwood, who was previously ranked No. 2 in the country with 4.33 goals per game. At No. 20 Army (March 4), he helped hold Tewaaraton Award Watch List member John Glesener to just one goal. At Providence, he caused a season-high three turnovers. At Denver, he helped RU hold 2013 USILA Honorable Mention All-American and 2014 Tewaaraton Award Watch List member Wesley Berg to just one goal. Finally, in a key game at Georgetown, he shut down GU’s Bo Stafford, who is second on the team in points and leads the Hoyas’ attack unit. Stafford had just one assist, while Contino collected a career-high six ground balls and caused a game-high two turnovers.

    (SUPER)NOVA

    Redshirt senior M Anthony Terranova (Flemington, N.J.) earned BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition on April 7. He was a key contributor offensively for the Scarlet Knights on the week, posting six points on four goals and two assists. He started by posting a season-high three scores in a 16-13 BIG EAST win over St. John’s on April 2. He followed that up with one goal and two assists at No. 17 Princeton on April 5. He is second on the team in assists (17) and is tied for first in the BIG EAST with two game-winning goals in league play.

    TRASOLINI ON A TEAR

    Freshman A Christian Trasolini (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) has made an impact this season, sitting second on the team with 27 goals and 40 points. Against Providence on March 15, he posted a career-high six points on three goals and three assists, earning BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition. He earned weekly honors again on March 24 after tallying a career-high four goals at No. 5 Denver. He also added an assist for five points. Against St. John’s on April 2, he tied his career-high with a four-goal performance. Trasolini has posted at least one point in all but two games this season.

    AMAZING ANDERSEN

    Sophomore GK Jake Andersen (Flemington, N.J.) has started three games in net for RU this season, including the last two. Seeing action in seven games, he has posted a .515 save percentage and has tallied 10 or more saves twice, including a career high 15 in a key win over Georgetown on April 26. 

    FRESHMEN FOCUS

    Ten Rutgers freshmen have seen action this season, including 15 starts by freshman A Christian Trasolini (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), two by D Chris Groel (Los Angeles, Calif.) and one by A Connor Murphy (Clifton, Va.). Trasolini is second on the team in goals (27) and points (40). 

    Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers men’s lacrosse, follow the program and Brecht on Twitter (@RUMLax and @RUlaxCoach) and Facebook. Fans can receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on our social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com.

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