MOUNT ST. MARY'S vs. DELAWARE
Saturday, February 9 | 12:00 p.m.
Emmitsburg, Maryland | Waldron Family Stadium
ABOUT THE MOUNT
The Mountaineers kick off their 50th season of men's lacrosse with the season opener Saturday against Delaware at Waldron Family Stadium. They look to build off a 5-9 overall record and 2-4 mark in Northeast Conference (NEC) play a year ago. The Mount posted an impressive 5-1 record on its home turf in 2018, collecting wins over UMBC, VMI, Mercer, Hobart, and Wagner at Waldron Family Stadium. Last season's team boasted a high-powered offense that averaged 11.14 goals per game and ranked among the top-three in the NEC in goals, assists, points, shots, and ground balls per game.
The Mount returns its top-four point scorers from last year's squad, including Chris DiPretoro and Brenden McCarthy, who both ranked top-four in the conference in points per game in 2018. DiPretoro led the Mount with 37 goals on the year and his 2.85 goals per contest was good for second-best in the NEC. McCarthy registered a team-high 32 assists and 53 points, as he led all NEC players with 2.29 assists per game. Attackman Stephano Mastro, who ranked second on the squad in goals (27) and third in points (33), along with do-it-all midfielder Jack Mangan, who led the team in caused turnovers (21) and ranked second in ground balls (50), will also look to play crucial roles for the Mountaineers once again. Face-off specialist Sam Stephan returns for his sophomore season after posting the second-best faceoff win percentage (.557) among all rookies in Division I last year. Stephan finished second in the conference in ground balls per game (8.29) and registered a .500 or better faceoff percentage in 10 of 14 games. On the defensive end, the Mount brings back two of its top players from 2018 in Bryan McIntosh (42 GB, 20 CT) and Joshua Davies (19 GB, 13 CT).
The Mount was tabbed fifth by the league's coaches in the Northeast Conference Preseason Poll released last Monday. Robert Morris was the unanimous pick for the top spot coming off the heels of its first NEC title last season, while Bryant and Sacred Heart rounded out the top-three. For more on the preseason poll, click here.
Jack Mangan, Stephano Mastro, and Zach Roberts were selected by their teammates as team captains for the 2019 season. The three captains have logged a combined 75 games played throughout their careers at the Mount.
The Blue Hens finished the 2018 campaign at 6-8 overall and 3-2 in conference play. They earned a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Playoffs for the first time since 2014, but fell to Towson by a 9-8 margin in the opening round. Delaware was picked to finish third in this year's CAA Preseason Coaches Poll, with senior Austin Haynes and junior Charlie Kitchen both earning Preseason All-CAA honors. Haynes led the CAA and ranked top-10 in the nation in caused turnovers per game last season, and finished the year with 26 caused turnovers and 35 ground balls. Kitchen led the league in goals per game in 2018, rounding out the year with 37 goals and 14 assists.
INSIDE THE SERIES
In a familiar battle, the Mount and Delaware will face off for the eighth straight season, including the fourth straight season opener. Delaware owns a 14-3 advantage in the all-time series and has won two of the last three matchups. The Mount's last victory over the Blue Hens was a 14-11 triumph during the 2016 campaign. In the contest last season, Delaware pushed past the Mount in the fourth quarter for a 16-12 win. Stephano Mastro, Brenden McCarthy, and Luke Frankeny led the way for the Mount with two goals apiece in the tilt, while Jack Mangan, Chris DiPretoro, and Joe Bethke each added a goal and an assist.
Following the season opener vs. Delaware, the Mountaineers remain in Emmitsburg for a matchup with Towson on February 15 at 3 p.m.