Feb. 14, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Men's Lacrosse Team opens their 2013 season this Saturday when they host Lehigh (1-0, 0-0 Patriot League) for the first game of the season at Villanova Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. on the Villanova University campus.
The Wildcats return to the turf after an 8-7 overall record last year and a 4-2 mark in BIG EAST action. Prior to the start of the season, senior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md./Boy's Latin) and juniors Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) and John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex Regional) have been named to the 2013 All-BIG EAST Preaseason Team while the squad was picked to finish fourth in the league in the BIG EAST preseason polls.
Villanova returns 28 letterwinners from the 2012 squad and adds a talented class of 12 newcomers who will push to make an immediate impact on the team. The Wildcats welcome back 58.3 percent of their scoring (91 of 156 goals) and 45.5 percent of the team's assists (50 of 110 assists).
Villanova's Last Outing: Villanova enters Saturday's contest with a clean slate after scrimmaging Stony Brook and Sacred Heart the previous two weekends for their preseason warm-up.
In their last appearance on the turf, the Wildcats concluded their 2012 slate in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship, falling 15-6 to Syracuse at Villanova Stadium. The Orange went on to win the inaugural BIG EAST Championship and earn the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Lehigh's Last Outing: The Mountain Hawks bring a 1-0 record into Saturday's showdown with the Wildcats after blasting St. Joseph's 14-1 in Bethlehem, Pa. last weekend. Senior David DiMaria led the way with a career-high six goals while classmate Dante Fantoni tied a career high with three assists and five points. The margin of victory marked Lehigh's largest since their 2012 13-0 shutout of Manhattan.
Mountain Hawk Offense: Lehigh was led by the six goal, one assist performance of DiMaria in the 14-1 win over St. Joseph's, where he took 11 shots and netted one man-up score. Fantoni added two goals and three assists while nine Mountain Hawks tallied points for the contest.
Mountain Hawk Defense: Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Poillon earned the season-opening win making eight saves and playing 54:41 in net for Lehigh while Steve Brodeur closed out the contest with one stop in just over five minutes of action. Mike Noone, Ty Souders and Tripp Telesco earned starting roles on close defense and collected a combined six ground balls and caused three turnovers.
Last Time vs. the Mountain Hawks (2/18/12): No. 10 Villanova scored ten unanswered second half goals en route to a 17-7 victory over Lehigh on Saturday afternoon at Ulrich Sports Complex. 11 different Wildcats posted points as Villanova claimed their first win at Lehigh since the 2003 season. The triumph marked the largest margin of victory over an opponent in a season opener since Feb. 24th, 2002 in a 19-7 win over St. Joseph's. Kevin Cunningham led the offensive effort with five goals and two assists, while Will Casertano and Kevin O'Neil posted five points apiece. Goalkeeper Dan Gutierrez made 12 saves in his season debut.