For Men's Lax, Senior Night Means Business
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Jaspers will welcome the Siena Saints to Gaelic Park on Saturday night for the final Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game of the season. For Manhattan, a win means a guaranteed berth to the 2014 MAAC Tournament.
The Jaspers enter the contest 5-9 overall, and 3-2 against MAAC opponents. Siena comes to Gaelic Park with an 8-5 mark, including a perfect 5-0 in conference.
Siena has already clinched the top seed in the upcoming MAAC Tournament, and the Monmouth Hawks have been eliminated from postseason contention. The fate of the other five teams in the conference will be decided at the conclusion of Saturday's contests. For the Jaspers, it's win and they're in. However, a loss means they would need help from other teams to ensure a spot in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the site of this year's tournament.
Again, if Manhattan wins, they're in. If Siena defeats the Jaspers, Detroit takes down Monmouth and Marist upends Canisius, there would be a five-way tie for second place in the conference (only three of the five would receive postseason bids), where the seeding would be decided by goal differential within the mini-conference. This scenario does not play into Manhattan's favor, as entering Saturday night, the team has the worst goal differential of any of the potential five teams jockeying for position.
Another scenario that does not play into the Jaspers favor is if Siena edges the Jaspers, Monmouth beats Detroit and Marist wins over Canisius, Manhattan would be in a four-way tie for second place, where seeding would be decided by record against the other three teams within the mini-conference. Marist and Canisius would each be 2-1 against the other three teams. Meanwhile, Manhattan and Quinnipiac would be 1-2, so Marist and Canisius would take the two and three seeds and Quinnipiac would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Jaspers and thus take the fourth seed.
Those two situations would provide worst-case scenarios for Manhattan, but there are plenty of other cases where the Jaspers would claim the two, three or four seed in the tournament.
The last time these two teams squared off was Saturday, March 30, 2013, when the Saints defeated the Jaspers in Loudonville, N.Y.
Offensively, the Jaspers are led by senior Pat Hodapp, who has 26 points (16G, 10A). Fellow senior Ryan Payton leads the team in goals, with 23. Juniors Andrew Hurst and Marcel Godino have added secondary scoring with 22 and 20 points, respectively.
Senior starting goalkeeper Rich Akapnitis has had his best season as a Jasper, recording 177 saves to this point. He stands just seven saves shy of 500 in his Manhattan career. He also has a 53.8 save percentage this spring. Senior long stick midfielder Sean McMahon has established himself as one of the best long poles in the MAAC over the last few seasons. He has a team leading 85 ground balls this season and sits just two away from sole possession of third place on the Jaspers all-time ground ball list. McMahon also leads the team in caused turnovers, with 23. Senior Dan McGreevy has collected 27 ground balls and forced 17 turnovers. Sophomores Alex Gitlitz and Nick Strano have also provided invaluable help to the Manhattan defensive effort. Gitlitz has picked up 18 ground balls and caused 14 turnovers. Strano has gathered 28 ground balls and forced 10 turnovers.
For Siena, Richie Hurley leads the team in scoring, with a very impressive 64 points in 2014. Hurley's 26 goals and 38 assists place him first in the MAAC in scoring, 25 points ahead of the second highest point scorer. Hurley and Conor Prunty have scored a point in every game they have played in dating back to February 8, 2013. Hurley has 112 points (55G, 57A) in that 30-game span. Prunty has 75 points (49G, 26A) over the same stretch. Colin Clive is another potent option for the Saints offense, with 24 goals on the year.
Defensively, Tommy Cordts and Adam Hall lead the Saints. Cordts is tied for second on the team with 25 ground balls. Hall leads the squad with 11 caused turnovers.
Prior to the opening draw on Saturday night, Manhattan seniors Mike Casson, Brett Madarasz, McMahon, Greg Smith, William Murphy, Levi Radbourne, Akapnitis, McGreevy, Hodapp, Payton, Brett Johnson and Dan Sweeney will be honored for their hard work and achievement over the past four years. The Senior Night ceremonies will commence at approximately 6:50 p.m., with the opening draw set for shortly after 7 p.m.