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MLAX: Back of the Net – Mar. 24

Mar 25, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT

More games knocked off the schedule and more conference games challenged. Hofstra is now 2-0 in conference play with wins over Drexel and Delaware, while UMass and Towson are 1-0 to open CAA action.

Towson has opened the 2014 season with a 7-2 overall record, which is the best start to a season since 2001.

UMass and Penn State continued to be ranked in both national polls this week, while Hofstra continued to be ranked in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Minutemen of UMass was ranked No. 14 in the USILA Poll, while Penn State fell to #17. In the Warrior/IL Media Poll, UMass sat at No. 13, while Hofstra is ranked at No. 19 just above Penn State, which fell to No. 20. Hofstra, Drexel and Towson are all receiving votes in the coaches’ poll, while Towson also received votes in the media poll.


Helping Hofstra head to that 2-0 mark was senior Drew Coholan, who earned CAA Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Week. He garnered that accolade after scoring eight goals for the Pride in a 1-1 week, as Hofstra fell to St. John’s in overtime before defeating Drexel in conference play. Coholan scored a career-high five goals against the Dragons on eight shots.

Towson’s 2-0 week, including the Tigers’ first conference win, came with the help of freshman Ryan Drenner, which helped him earn CAA Rookie of the Week honors. The rookie midfielder scored three goals and two assists on the week to go along with four groundballs. To read more about the Player and Rookie of the Week honorees, check out the full CAA Men’s Lacrosse Weekly Report on

Drexel’s Nick Saputo is ranked among Division I leaders in the top six in two categories – ground balls per game (4th/10.25) and face-off winning percentage (6th/0.658). The league has some of the top face-off specialists as Delaware’s Tyler Barbarich and Penn State’s Drake Kreinz follow Saputo, ranked 8th (0.640) and 10th (0.627), respectively and UMass’ Joe Calvello follows at 12th (0.622). Calvello is averaging 9.44 ground balls per game to follow Saputo and is ranked 8th nationally. Hofstra sophomore Sam Llinares ranks 10th with 2.14 assists per game and Penn State’s Shane Sturgis is 12th in the nation in scoring 2.88 goals per game and 4.38 points per game. UD’s Conor Peaks’ .567 save percentage in the cage ranks 16th among the national leaders, while Drexel’s Will Gabrielson is averaing 11.0 saves per game, also ranks 16th nationally. Full national rankings listed on page 5 of the CAA Weekly Report or the full national listing on