Royal Review: March 3-9 (No. 26 in a weekly series)

Freshman forward Alexix Roman scored a career-high 30 points as the Lady Royals advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 72-71 victory over Vassar on Saturday in the Long Center.
Freshman forward Alexix Roman scored a career-high 30 points as the Lady Royals advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 72-71 victory over Vassar on Saturday in the Long Center.

Women’s Basketball (26-3)

The University of Scranton women’s lacrosse team advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 17th time in program history and the first time since 2009.

The Lady Royals opened the NCAA Tournament with an 88-63 victory over Bridgewater State in a first-round game on Friday, March 7, in the Long Center. Junior forward Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) scored 22 points, freshman forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) had 19 and fellow freshman forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) added 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.

A day later, Scranton won a thrilling second-round game against Vassar, 72-71, in the Long Center after overcoming a 13-point deficit with less than 10 minutes to play. Roman had a career-high 30 points, including the game-winning free throw with five seconds remaining. Payonk had 15 points, Mesaris had 10 and junior guard Lindsay Fluehr (Bensalem, Pa./Nazareth Academy) had nine assists and no turnovers in 39 minutes.

The two victories improve Scranton to 55-27 all-time in 27 NCAA Tournament appearances, and 36-5 all-time in NCAA Tournament games held in the Long Center. The team’s winning streak is now 11, and Scranton has won 24 of its last 25 games.

The Lady Royals will face Montclair State in a sectional round game on Friday, March 14, at 5 p.m. at FDU-Florham in Madison, N.J.

Men’s Basketball (24-4)

The University of Scranton men’s basketball team suffered a 94-81 loss to Hobart College in an NCAA Tournament first-round game in Brockport, N.Y. on Friday, March 7.

Junior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy, N.J.) led the Royals with 31 points and eight rebounds, senior guard Tommy Morgan (Greenlawn, N.Y./Chaminade) had 14 points and eight assists, and junior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) added 13 points.

Scranton lost despite shooting 64.6 percent (31-for-48) from the field, including 9-for-12 from 3-point range. The loss snapped the Royals’ 14-game winning streak. Scranton’s 24 wins this year is tied for the most ever under 13th-year head coach Carl Danzig and tied for the sixth most in Royals’ history

Men’s Lacrosse (2-2)

The University of Scranton men’s lacrosse team split a pair of games during the week, losing at home to York (Pa.) and defeating Lycoming on the road.

Scranton opened the week with a 9-5 loss to York (Pa.) on Wednesday, March 5, at Fitzpatrick Field. Freshman attacker Ryan Mygatt (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) had two goals, and senior midfielder Matt Tibbitts (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) and junior attacker Anthony Lombardo (Mendham, N.J./Mendham) had a goal and an assist each.

The Royals scored the first seven goals of the game en route to a 12-5 victory at Lycoming on Saturday, March 7, in Williamsport, Pa. Sophomore midfielder Alec Mikrut (Belle Mead, N.J./Montgomery) led the way with three goals and an assist, and senior midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep) had a goal and three assists. Senior attacker Gus Sturm (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) and freshman attacker Ryan Mygatt (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) added two goals each.

Women’s Lacrosse (1-0)

The University of Scranton women’s lacrosse team opened its season with a 17-2 victory at King’s on Saturday, March 8, in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa.

Junior midfielder Emily Goss (Morristown, N.J./Morristown) scored five goals, including the 100th goal of her career, becoming one of 11 players in Royals’ history to accomplish this feat. Scranton also received three goals from senior Erin Green (Merrick, N.Y./Sandford Calhoun), two goals and an assist from senior Christine Dredger (Glen Head, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) and two goals from freshman Nikole Sullivan (Sparkill, N.Y./Tappan Zee) and senior Kerry Sullivan (Oceanport, N.Y./Shore Regional). Sophomore Erin Allen (Syosset, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) and senior Shannon Ginty (Mineola, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) each added a goal and three assists, as well.

The Royals are back in action on Monday, March 10, when they host Lebanon Valley at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.

Baseball (3-3)

The University of Scranton baseball team opened its season by going 3-3 on its annual spring trip to Fort Myers, Fla.

The Royals lost their season opener, 14-5, to fellow Jesuit institution John Carroll on Thursday, March 6, in a game that was delayed more than five hours in the first inning due to heavy rain. Senior first baseman Eric Pizzico (Royersford, Pa./Spring-Ford) had three hits, including a double, drove in three runs and scored a run in the loss.

On Friday, March 7, Scranton split a doubleheader against Neumann, losing 14-6 and winning 11-5. In the first game, sophomore catcher Tyler Ferretti (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) had a two-run home run and added a single and two runs in the loss.

In the second game, junior second baseman Matt Maghini (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) had three hits and scored three runs, sophomore outfielder Brian Healy (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) had two singles, two RBIs, a stolen base and scored a run, and Pizzico and senior third baseman Mike Trabulsi (Malverne, Pa./Chaminade) both had a single and two RBIs in the win.

The Royals played three games on Saturday, March 8, splitting a doubleheader against Elms and defeating Thiel in a night game. In the opening game against Elms, a 6-5 victory, senior outfielder Michael Gaeta (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) singled twice and drove in three runs, Trabulsi had two singles and two RBIs, sophomore outfielder Zach Dignam (Bridgewater, N.J./Immaculata) doubled and scored twice, and Maghini singled and scored twice. Junior righty Mike Villegas (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) pitched a perfect seventh inning for the save.

In game two against Elms, a 22-12 loss, Maghini singled twice, doubled, drove in three runs and scored twice, junior outfielder Michael Umerich (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) singled, doubled, scored three times and drove in a run, and Gaeta singled twice, scored twice and drove in a run.

In the final game of the trip, a 7-6 victory over Thiel, Villegas came on in the bottom of the 8th to work out of a jam, then stranded the bases loaded in the ninth to pick up his second save of the day. Junior outfielder Nick Papillo (Germantown, Md./St. John's College H.S.) had four hits, Ferretti singled, doubled, tripled and scored twice and freshman third baseman Kevin Raszka (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood) singled, doubled, drove in two runs and scored a run.

The Royals are back in action on Saturday, March 15, when they open Landmark Conference play with a doubleheader at Catholic in Washington, D.C. at 1 p.m. 

This Week in University of Scranton Athletics 

Monday, March 10
Women’s lacrosse – vs. Lebanon Valley (4 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 12
Men’s lacrosse – vs. Marywood (7 p.m.)
Women’s lacrosse – at Elmira (4 p.m.)

Friday, March 14
Women’s basketball – NCAA Tournament sectional, vs. Montclair State in Madison, N.J. (5 p.m.)
Men’s lacrosse – vs. Catholic (7 p.m.)
Women’s lacrosse – vs. Drew (4 p.m.)

Saturday, March 15
Baseball – at Catholic, DH (1 p.m.)
Softball – at Susquehanna, DH (1 p.m.)

Sunday, March 16
Baseball – at Catholic (noon)