March 12, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova (1-3) returns to action this Friday night when the Wildcats take on the top-ranked team in the nation in No. 1 Maryland (5-0). Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
Friday marks the 8th meeting between the two schools with the all-time series favoring Maryland 7-0. The two schools reignited their series in 2012 after a 14 year hiatus after last meeting during the 1998 season. In the current era of the Wildcats-Terps, Maryland has claimed a 2-0 record with an 11-5 win in 2012 and 10-7 victory in 2013.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Saturday's contest with a 1-3 record after falling to then-No. 14 Penn 12-11 last weekend. The Wildcats held a lead over the Quakers for the entire contest before Penn responded with five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to come from behind for the 12-11 win.
As of the latest USILA Coaches poll released on Monday, March 10th, Villanova has scheduled eight ranked opponents on their calendar this season: No. 1 Maryland, No. 2 Johns Hopkins, No. 5 Penn State, No. 9 Denver, No. 12 Penn, No. 15 Lehigh, No. 16 Princeton and No. 20 Drexel.
`Nova Offense: Senior Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) leads the team with 10 points via seven goals and three assists while Johnny Gallaway (Middletown, Md.) and Austin Frederick (Baltimore, Md.) follow closely behind with eight points each. 15 Wildcats have posted points through four games this season. Senior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) has posted a .536 win percentage this season, taking 45-of-84 attempts.
'Nova Defense: Freshman goalkeeper Dan Willis (Moorestown, N.J.) has earned the starting role for Villanova and posts an 9.38 GAA while making 43 saves to start the season. His save percentage currently stands at .518. 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 30 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers while senior John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) posts a team-high 28 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers.
A Look at Maryland: Maryland brings a flawless 5-0 record into Friday's showdown with the Wildcats. The Terps are coming off an 11-8 victory over Stony Brook and have claimed wins over Mount St. Mary's (16-3), UMBC (14-3), Syracuse (16-8) and Duke (10-6) so far in 2014.
Terp Offense: Maryland averages13.40 goals per game on offense and surrenders 5.60 goals per game defensively. Mike Chanenchuk (16g, 5a) leads the team with 21 points this season while Matt Rambo (11g, 4a) follows closely behind with 15 points. 19 different players have posted points for the Terps this season.
Terp Defense: Senior goalkeeper Niko Amato has been the starter in net for Maryland and has played over 275 minutes in goal while making 52 saves. His goals against average currently stands at 6.00 while his save percentage .650 after making 52 saves on the year.
The Last Meeting (3/16/13): Despite dominating the stat sheet and holding the upper hand for most of the contest, two three-goal stretches by Maryland in the second and third quarters made the difference as Villanova fell to the top-ranked Terps 10-7. In a game that featured four tied scores with the Wildcats down by one at 8-7 with 8:54 left in the contest, the Terps pulled away for the victory with the final two goals of the game after Villanova gambled by pulling goalkeeper Reed Carlson out of net to double-up on defense.