Jan. 11, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Senior defenseman John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) and attackman Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) were chosen as the 26th and 63rd overall picks in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, held on Friday evening at the U.S. Lacrosse Convention in Philadelphia, Pa.
LoCascio was selected during the fourth round by the Rochester Rattlers while O'Neil was picked up by the Charlotte Hounds in the eighth and final round. Both players will be eligible to sign a contract with Major League Lacrosse after the 2014 college season. A total of 64 seniors were selected over eight rounds during Friday's draft.
LoCascio was named a Third Team All-America selection to cap an outstanding junior season and collected 85 ground balls and caused 53 turnovers in 2013. He was named the 2013 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, was an unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team and also earned a spot on the 2013 BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament Team. The junior ranked first in the NCAA averaging 3.79 caused turnovers per game and also registered two goals and six assists for eight points as a dominate force in the Villanova backfield last season. Through his three seasons as a Wildcat, LoCascio has collected 164 ground balls and caused 87 career turnovers and currently ranks 2nd all-time at Villanova averaging 1.93 caused turnovers per game. Additionally, the defenseman ranked 3rd in the BIG EAST averaging 6.07 ground balls per game in 2013. LoCascio will return for his final season as a Wildcat in the coming weeks and will once again serve as a team captain for his senior campaign.
O'Neil has appeared in 39 games while making 11 starts as a lefty on the Villanova offense and has tallied 29 goals and 24 assists for 53 points through his junior season. He's collected 17 ground balls and caused three turnovers while posting two game-winning goals and seven man-up scores. He'll be heavily relied upon this season as a veteran on attack and hopes to follow up a junior campaign that featured 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points.
LoCascio and O'Neil's picks mark the fourth consecutive year that Villanova has had at least one player drafted into lacrosse's professional league. 2011 graduate Brian Karalunas is currently a member of the New York Lizards while 2012 graduate Kevin Cunningham is rostered with the Florida Launch. 2013 graduate Jack Rice was recently selected third overall in the supplemental draft by the Boston Cannons to round out Villanova alumni currently playing in the pros.