March 1, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova (0-2) looks to get their first win of the season this Saturday at 7 p.m. when they face the Delaware Blue Hens (1-3) at Villanova Stadium. Tickets are available at the door and are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
Saturday marks the 13th meeting between the two schools with the all-time series favoring the Wildcats 7-5. Delaware claimed the most recent outing on March 3rd, 2012 in a 13-9 victory at Delaware Stadium. Prior to last year's contest, the Wildcats had won three consecutive meetings against the Blue Hens dating back to March 22nd, 2008. Saturday's contest will also mark Villanova's second consecutive and final meeting for the year against a former Colonial Athletic Association rival; the Wildcats left the CAA following the 2009 campaign to join the BIG EAST.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Saturday's contest with a 0-2 record after falling to No. 14 Drexel 12-10 on Tuesday, February 26th. Villanova was also defeated in their season opener against then-No. 11 Lehigh, 11-9. Following Saturday's matchup, the Wildcats enter a five game stretch against opponents that are currently ranked in the top-20.
As of the latest USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls released on Monday, February 25th, Villanova has scheduled eight ranked opponents on their calendar this season: No. 1 Maryland, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 8 Penn State, No. 12 Princeton, No. 14(t) Penn, No. 14(t) Drexel, No. 17 Lehigh and No. 18 Syracuse
`Nova Offense: The Villanova junior and senior classes have combined to produce 68.9% of offensive production through two games. Senior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) leads the Villanova attack with five points via five goals while classmate Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) follows closely behind with four points through three goals and one assist. Senior Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.), junior Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) and freshmen Jack Curran (Fair Haven, N.J.) and John Kluh (Lothian, Md.) follow closely behind with three points each.
Junior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) has posted a .674 win percentage this season, taking 31-of-46 attempts. He currently ranks second all-time at Villanova with a .610 career face-off win percentage following the Drexel contest on February 26th where he won 17 consecutive attempts and 19-of-23 for the evening.
'Nova Defense: Freshman goalkeeper Greg Stamatov (Foxboro, Mass.) has earned the starting role for Villanova through two games and posts a 12.79 GAA while making 17 saves. His save percentage currently stands at .436.
The starting trio at close defense, juniors John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.), Chris Conroy (Chatham, N.J.) and Chris Piccirilli (Davidsonville, Md.) have combined for 18 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers while sophomore Christian Kolderup (Darien, Conn.) and freshman John Moderski (Philadelphia, Pa.) have shared LSM duties and grabbed a combined for two ground balls and five caused turnovers.
A Look at Delaware: Delaware brings a 1-3 record into Saturday's showdown with the Wildcats. The Blue Hens are coming off a 15-12 defeat to Mount St. Mary's and had previously lost two one-goal contests vs. then-No. 18 Bucknell (L, 9-8) and then-No. 1 Loyola (L, 9-8). Their lone win of the season was their 2013 opener on Feb. 2nd vs. High Point (W, 12-10).
Blue Hen Offense: Delaware averages 10.00 goals per game on offense and surrenders 10.75 goals per game defensively. Eric Smith (8g, 5a) leads the team with 12 points on the year while Nick Diachenko (10g, 1a) and Connor McRoy (6g, 4a) follow closely behind with 11 and 10 points for the season through four games, respectively.
Blue Hen Defense: Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Herbert has earned the starting position for the Blue Hens and has played just over 230 minutes in net while making 45 saves and posting a 10.22 GAA. His save percentage currently stands at .529 after facing 128 shots. His close defensemen, Connor Fitzgerald, Brandon Worrall and Trip Ashley have combined for 25 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers through four games.
The Last Meeting (3/3/12): In a battle of former CAA rivals, No. 8 Villanova was outscored by Delaware by a 9-1 margin in the second and third quarters en route to a 13-9 loss at Delaware Stadium. The Wildcats built a 6-1 lead in the first fifteen minutes but was bested by a 13-3 Blue Hen run to end the game. Delaware held Villanova scoreless for 26:56 beginning at the 10:03 mark of the second quarter and lasting until the 13:07 mark in the final stanza. During that drought, the Blue Hens posted eight unanswered goals including the game-tying and go-ahead scores just two minutes into the second half.