Wildcats Host City Rival and No. 14 Penn for Saturday Tilt
March 6, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova (1-2) returns home this Saturday to face another Philadelphia-rival in No. 14 Penn (2-1) at Villanova Stadium. Game time is slated for 5 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Fox College Sports.
Saturday marks the 25th meeting between the two schools with the all-time series favoring Penn 16-8, but the two sides have played every year since 1998 and in that time the series is deadlocked at 8-8 with neither team winning more than three games in a row. Eight of the last 16 games have been decided by one goal and two of those contests have gone into overtime.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Saturday's contest with a 1-2 record after falling to Delaware 11-9 last weekend. The Wildcats have played two overtime contests to start the season; Villanova opened the 2014 year with a 7-6 triple-overtime defeat at Lehigh but rebounded nicely with a single-overtime win over Drexel at Villanova Stadium
As of the latest USILA Coaches poll released on Monday, March 3rd, Villanova has scheduled nine ranked opponents on their calendar this season: No. 1 Maryland, No. 4 Johns Hopkins, No. 7 Penn State, No. 12 Denver, No. 13 Penn, No. 14 Princeton, No. 16 Lehigh, No. 18 Drexel and No. 20 St. John's.
`Nova Offense: Senior Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) and freshman Austin Frederick (Baltimore, Md.) lead the team with six points each while 14 Wildcats have posted points through three games this season. Senior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) has posted a .474 win percentage this season, taking 27-of-57 attempts.
'Nova Defense: Freshman goalkeeper Dan Willis (Moorestown, N.J.) has earned the starting role for Villanova and posts an 8.57 GAA while making 32 saves to start the season. His save percentage currently stands at .533. The starting trio at close defense, junior Christian Kolderup (Darien, Conn.) and seniors Chris Conroy (Chatham, N.J.) and Chris Piccirilli (Davidsonville, Md.) have combined for 23 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers while senior John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) posts a team-high 20 ground balls and eight caused turnovers.
A Look at Penn: Penn brings a 2-1 record into Saturday's showdown with the Wildcats. The Quakers are coming off a 12-10 victory over then-No. 6 Denver last weekend. Penn also posted a dominate 14-4 victory over Saint Joseph's and opened the season with a 9-6 loss at then-No. 2 Duke.
Quaker Offense: Penn averages10.66 goals per game on offense and surrenders 7.67 goals per game defensively. Isaac Bock (5g, 2a) and Zack Losco (4g, 3a) lead the team with seven points each while Nick Doktor (3g, 3a) and Pat Berkery (2g, 4a) follow closely behind with six points. 15 different players have posted points for the Quakers this season.
Quaker Defense: Senior goalkeeper Brian Feeney has earned the starting position for Penn and has played all 180minutes in net while making 27 saves and posting a 7.67 GAA. His save percentage currently stands at .540 after facing 103 shots.
The Last Meeting (3/9/13): Career days from Jack Rice and Max Hart weren't enough to push Villanova for the victory as the Wildcats fell 13-9 to No. 18 Penn at the inaugural Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic in Chester, Pa. The seniors combined for seven goals on the afternoon as the Wildcats fell to 1-4 on the season while Penn improved to 4-1. With his hat trick, Rice became just the fifth person in Villanova lacrosse history to score 100 goals and the first since the 1994 season.