As we enter and traverse the back half of the 2019 season, we wanted to provide an update on the Pitt Men’s Lacrosse team’s 2019 campaign thus far, and what the future holds moving forward.
Before we dive in to scores, records, stats, etc, we’d like to begin with a mighty thank you to all of the family, friends, and alumni that have supported us the entire way, specifically up in Michigan and at the Battle of Baltimore to support us. It’s huge to have the 11th man on our side, whether it be home or away. Additionally, this year’s Pitt Day of Giving was one to remember and can be categorized as a complete success. We fundraised $5K that will be used for much needed additions to the program. To anyone who donated, we cannot express enough our gratitude.
Season Results - The Journey Thus Far
During the cold month of February, we had tough losses to ranked teams in Minnesota, Boston College and CLC West rival Michigan State. However, we rebounded in our second weekend with a gritty win over a tough Purdue team.
After falling to a talented Buffalo squad, we took on Elon and CLC West opponent Central Michigan, winning both.
This past weekend, we competed in the fantastic annual Battle for Baltimore tournament at the John Carroll School, where we handily defeated George Washington University and took care of business against East Carolina, improving to a 5-4 record.
From a stats perspective, many of our Panthers have excelled thus far this year. At the Attack position, David McVey, Michael Stephenson, Erik Dash, Bennett Nakao, Ryan Holochuck, and Tom Gallen have proven dangerous. Collectively, the unit accounts for 63 points of production.
At the Midfield, veterans and rookies have begun to merge into a formidable unit. Dan Wasson, Zach Romac, Dan Bullitt, Cole Burden, Jimmy Wilkinson, and Tim Fitzgerald have all produced at high levels resulting in 63 points of production.
On the defensive side of the ball, Brian McCaffrey proves to be one of the most versatile players in the MCLA. The Junior LSM is responsible for 43 gb’s, 8 points on 4 goals and 4 assists, and .50% at the faceoff x. Down low, Alex Keough, Ty Tracy, Tim Bowers, and Sean Culhane have been lock down, playing a very physical brand of lacrosse resulting in 55 gb’s and numerous caused turnovers.
From a special teams perspective, our SSDM’s and F/O units have been relied on heavily all year long. SSDM’s Luke Newton, Casey Repcheck, and David Wasson have played huge roles on the defensive side of the ball as well as the clearing game. F/O specialists Zach Smith, Alex Gonzalez, and Antonio Cucciuffo have been warriors at the faceoff X, resulting in a combined 108 wins, 83 losses for a .565% F/O winning percentage.
In between the pipes, Goalies Michael Gonzalez and Sean Tierney have played huge games all year long. Gonzalez accounting for 60 saves with a .588% save percentage and Tierney with 41 saves with a .547% save percentage.
Coach Wilfong had this to say about the Pitt squad thus far, “Despite a tough start, we have shown a lot of resilience and grit thus far and have continuously improved in every game we have played. Make no mistake, every game is important, but we are playing our best lacrosse when it matters most. We’ve been in some tough battles and look forward to continuing competing every chance we get.” Coach also had this to say, “What I like most about our team is how balanced we are. We are not a one man offense or defense. Everyone pitches in and embraces the next man up mentality. We have 12 guys on our squad with 5 points or more. If one guys is struggling or being shut down, we got 5 other guys that play at a high level you need to worry about. I believe that makes us dangerous.”
Season To Come - The Road Ahead
This weekend, we head to Michigan to take on CLC West opponents Davenport and Western Michigan. This is a huge weekend for us, as both games have playoff implications on the line.
Next weekend we face off against Temple, and in our final weekend of the regular season, we compete in the annual Backyard Brawl against West Virginia, both games being played in Pittsburgh.
We expect to take care of business and compete in the CLC Tournament in Taunton, MA the weekend of April 26th, with a chance for a bid in the national tournament in Salt Lake City, UT.
Thank you again for all your support, and Hail to Pitt!!!