April 3, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - 13th ranked Villanova (5-4, 1-0) returns home to Villanova Stadium on Wednesday for the first time in 22 days to host No. 20 Georgetown (5-3, 1-0) for the continuation of their BIG EAST schedule. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Wednesday marks just the 17th overall meeting between the two schools with the all-time series favoring the Wildcats, 9-7, despite not having won a contest over the Hoyas since April 12th, 1992. Georgetown has claimed both outings since the rivalry was reignited with the inception of the BIG EAST Lacrosse Conference in 2010, and the Hoyas posted an 11-9 victory over Villanova nearly a year ago at Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Wednesday's contest with a 5-4 record after falling to No. 18 Penn State 13-8 last Saturday in University Park. Villanova is currently in the midst of a five game stretch against opponents ranked in the top-20 in the national polls and will conclude that series Wednesday night against the Hoyas. Additionally, Villanova's tough March schedule included only one home game and put the Wildcats on the road for six consecutive weekends.
As of the latest USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls released on Monday, April 2nd, Villanova has scheduled eight ranked opponents on their calendar this season: No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Lehigh, No. 11 Princeton, No. 12 Maryland, No. 15 Bucknell, No. 16 Penn State No 17 Syracuse and No. 20 Georgetown.
`Nova Offense: The Villanova junior and senior classes have combined to produce 85% of offensive production through nine games. The Wildcats average 10.33 goals per game compared to 10.67 from the competition, including a .634 shot on goal percentage over their competitors .610.
Junior Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y.) leads the Villanova attack with 28 points via 13 goals and 15 assists while senior Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) and junior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) follow closely behind with 24 and 20 points each, respectively. Sophomore face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) has posted a .607 win percentage from the X, ranking him 12th in the NCAA, and taking 85-of-140 attempts on the season.
'Nova Defense: Senior Dan Gutierrez (Chevy Chase, Md.) has been the mainstay in net for the Wildcats through eight games. For the season, Gutierrez posts a 10.66 goals against average and a .475 save percentage.
The starting trio at close defense, seniors Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa.), Ryan McDonagh (Huntington, N.Y.) and sophomore Chris Conroy (Chatham, N.J.) have combined for 37 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers while sophomore LSM John LoCascio (Farifield, N.J.) has grabbed 36 ground balls and caused 12 turnovers for the year.
A Look at Georgetown: Georgetown brings a 5-3 record into Wednesday's showdown with the Wildcats. The Hoyas are coming off an 8-5victory over Lafayette last Saturday and have posted wins over Detroit Mercy (12-7), Harvard (11-10), Mount St. Mary's (9-8) and Providence (7-6). Georgetown's losses have come from Maryland (16-11), Loyola (11-6) and Duke (13-11).
Hoya Offense: Georgetown averages 9.38 goals per game on offense and surrenders 9.50 goals per game defensively. Brian Casey leads the team with 22 points (10g, 12a) while Zack Angel (15g, 2a) and Zac Guy (5g, 12a) follow closely behind with 17 points each.
Hoya Defense: Matt Winter has been the mainstay in net for the Hoyas, but CT Fisher and Jake Haley have also posted significant minutes between the pipes through Georgetown's eight games. The trio boasts a 9.50 goals against average and a .510 save percentage, while Winter has tallied a 8.93 GAA and .539 save percentage. Their close defensemen, Bobby Boyle, Chris Nourse and Brennan Bicknese have posted 42 ground balls and 31 caused turnovers on the year.
The Last Meeting (5/7/11): Despite a fourth quarter, three-goal rally, the 10th-ranked Villanova Wildcats were defeated 11-9 by the Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday evening in Washington, D.C. Sophomore Will Casertano led the team with five points for the evening. With eight minutes remaining in the final quarter, Nick Doherty, Matt Bell and Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.) gave Villanova a fighting chance when they notched three unanswered scores to get the `Cats to within one at 9-8, but it wouldn't be enough to solidify the victory.