Wildcats Host No. 1 Maryland Saturday at 7PM
March 14, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats (1-4) begin three straight weekends of home contests this Saturday when they host No. 1 Maryland (5-0) at 7 p.m. in Villanova Stadium. The matchup will mark the second time in three years the Wildcats have hosted the number one ranked team in the nation: Villanova previously hosted No. 1 Syracuse on March 26th, 2011.
Saturday marks the seventh overall meeting between the Wildcats and Terps while Maryland holds the 6-0 advantage in the all-time series. Prior to reigniting the competition in the 2012 season, Villanova and Maryland had not met in 14 years dating back to 1998. The Treps last bested the Wildcats in College Park, Md. 11-5 on Saturday March 17th, 2012.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Saturday's contest with a 1-4 record after falling to No. 18 Penn 13-9 last Saturday in the Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic. Villanova posted their first win of the season in a 14-9 victory over Delaware on March 2nd. All of Villanova's losses have come from teams ranked in the top-20 of the national polls: No. 5 Princeton (L, 14-11), No. 11 Lehigh (L, 11-9), No. 14 Drexel (L, 12-10) and No. 18 Penn (L, 13-9). The Wildcats are now in the midst of a five game stretch against teams that are currently ranked in the top-20.
As of the latest USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls released on Monday, March 11th, Villanova has eight ranked opponents on their 2013 schedule: No. 1 Maryland, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 7 Princeton, No. 11 Syracuse, No. 13 Drexel, No. 14 Penn, No. 16 Duke and No. 18 Penn State.
`Nova Offense: The Villanova junior and senior classes have combined to produce 67.1% of offensive production through five games. Senior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) leads the Villanova attack with 11 points each via 11 goals while classmate Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) follows closely behind with nine points through five goals and four assists. Another senior, Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.) has tallied eight points on the season via eight goals.
Junior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) has posted a .552 win percentage this season, taking 69-of-125 attempts. He currently ranks third all-time in Villanova history with a .589 career face-off win percentage.
'Nova Defense: Freshman Greg Stamatov (Foxboro, Mass.) and senior Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.)have combined for a 12.42 GAA and a .468 save percentage. Hurley, who played just over 30 minutes in the Penn contest, posts a .684 save percentage.
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 39 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers. LoCascio currently leads the NCAA averaging 4.00 caused turnovers per game and has posted 21 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers this season.
A Look at Maryland: Maryland brings a flawless 5-0 record into Saturday's showdown with the Wildcats. The Terps are coming off a decisive 13-7 victory over Stony Brook and have also posted wins over Mt. St. Mary's (W, 23-6), Hartford, (W, 16-4), Loyola (W, 12-10) and Duke (W, 16-7).
Terp Offense: Maryland averages 16.00 goals per game on offense and surrenders 6.80 goals per game defensively. Kevin Cooper (11g, 7a) leads the team with 18 points on the year while John Haus (8g, 7a), Mike Chanenchuk (8g, 5a) and Owen Blye (9g, 3a) follow closely behind with 15, 13 and 12 points on the year, respectively, through five games.
Terp Defense: Junior goalkeeper Niko Amato is the starter in goal for the Terps and has played just over 260 minutes on the year making 42 saves for a .600 save percentage. His GAA currently stands at 6.36. His close defensemen, Goran Murray, Casey Ikeda and Michael Ehrhardt have combined for 35 goals and 14 caused turnovers.
The Last Meeting (3/10/12): The 10th ranked Villanova Wildcats dropped their second straight non-conference matchup to No. 7 Maryland, 11-5, on Saturday afternoon. Maryland jumped to a 7-0 lead to start the game and never looked back as they posted their sixth-straight win against the Wildcats in series history. For Villanova, the contest also marks the second straight loss to teams ranked in the Top-20 in the national polls.