FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012
JU mission easy to understand
The mission this week for the JU men’s lacrosse team is easy to understand: beat Manhattan and go to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. The execution of that understanding may not be so easy.
The Dolphins (5-7, 2-3) take on Manhattan (5-7, 1-3) Saturday at D. B. Milne Field (1 p.m.) and present will be the potential distraction of the first-ever Senior Day.
Seven Dolphins, Max Gurowski, Jake Ziegler, DJ Zymkowitz, Alex DiScala, Chip Young, Ben Schaefer and Jeremy Tissenbaum, playing their last home game will be honored in pregame and the hoopla surrounding the event has been known to overwhelm a team or two.
“It is a big day and we are grateful for what they have done for this program,’’ coach Guy Van Arsdale said. “They were the first, the pioneers, who led the way.’’
Following the festivities, JU will get down to business with the Jaspers, both trying to secure a berth in the post season.
While the Dolphins are in if they win, should Manhattan win there is an ever-so-slight possibility of up to a four-way tie with a three-way tie. Canisius and VMI, both of whom JU beat, are still in the mix.
“If we win we’re in the tournament,’’ Van Arsdale said. “We’re playing to earn more lacrosse. That extra two weeks can be invaluable. Not to mention that if you win and are playing more games you’re still alive for the NCAA tournament. We’re grateful to still be in a position to not be relying on anyone else to have a shot.’’
Brian McGrath leads the Jaspers’ offense with his 26 points (16 goals, 10 assists) and Tyler Jarvis’ 18 goals top the team.
Manhattan comes into the game having lost a pair of close conference games, 12-8 to Marist last week and 9-7 to VMI prior to that.
“They are disciplined and know how they want to play and are good at it,’’ Van Arsdale said. “If they are able to make the game fit their style they can be really, really formidable.’’
Van Arsdale said his team has heard since last fall the goal is the playoffs.
“It’s a message we’ve made throughout the year,’’ he said. “If you’re not understanding of that, I’m not sure you’ll ever get it.’’
The game will be available free on asun.tv.