Wildcats Look to Secure BIG EAST Championship Bid vs. No. 14 St. John's
April 11, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova (4-6, 3-0) begins two weeks of away games this Saturday when they travel to Jamaica, N.Y. to face No. 14 St. John's (7-3, 2-2) at 3 p.m. at DaSilva Memorial Field. With the conference race heating up Villanova hopes to secure their fourth-straight BIG EAST win in hopes of gaining a bid to the BIG EAST Championship on May 2nd and 4th at Villanova Stadium.
Saturday marks the 14th overall meeting between the Wildcats and Red Storm with Villanova holding the advantage in the all-time series at 7-6. Villanova has claimed the three most recent outings beginning in 2010 with the formation of BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse and has won each of those contests.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Saturday's contest with a 4-6 record after defeating Rutgers 11-9 on Saturday to remain undefeated in the BIG EAST. Villanova has posted wins over Delaware (W, 14-9), then-No.4 Syracuse (W, 11-10), Georgetown (W, 8-6) and Rutgers (W, 11-9). All of Villanova's losses have come from teams ranked in the top-20 of the national polls: Maryland (L, 10-7), Princeton (L, 14-11), Lehigh (L, 11-9), Drexel (L, 12-10), Penn (L, 13-9) and Penn State (L, 7-6).
As of the latest USILA Coaches Poll released on Monday, April 8th, Villanova has nine ranked opponents on their 2013 schedule: No. 1 Maryland, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 10 Princeton, No. 11 Penn State, No. 14 Penn, No. 17 Drexel, No. 18 Lehigh and No. 19 St. John's.
`Nova Offense: The Villanova senior and freshmen classes have combined to produce71.4% of offensive production through 10 games. Freshman John Kluh (13g, 67) and senior Jack Rice (20g) lead the Villanova attack with 20 points each while senior Max Hart (12g, 7a) follows closely behind in the Villanova point race.
Junior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist has posted a .553 win percentage this season, taking 121-of-219 attempts. He currently ranks third all-time in Villanova history with a .584 career face-off win percentage.
'Nova Defense: Senior Billy Hurley, sophomore Reed Carlson and freshman Greg Stamatov have all earned significant playing time in goal this season. Carlson has started the last five contests posts a .512 save percentage and an 8.40 GAA. Combined, the three keepers have totaled a 10.36 GAA and a .487 save percentage.
The starting trio at close defense, juniors John LoCascio, Chris Conroy and Chris Piccirilli have combined for 88 ground balls and 59 caused turnovers. LoCascio currently leads the NCAA averaging 4.22 caused turnovers per game and has posted 55 ground balls and 38 caused turnovers this season.
A Look at St. John's: St. John's brings a 7-3 overall record and a 2-2 conference mark into Saturday's showdown with the Wildcats. The Red Storm was on a four-game win streak before falling to Georgetown in overtime last weekend, 14-13. Other losses on the year have come via Stony Brook (L, 11-7) and Syracuse (L, 13-11). Wins are over Holy Cross (W, 11-9), Yale (W, 10-9), Siena (W, 12-11), Rutgers (W, 20-13), Hofstra (W, 7-6), Robert Morris (W, 17-11) and Notre Dame (W, 12-10).
Red Storm Offense: St. John's averages 12.00 goals per game on offense and surrenders 10.69 goals per game defensively. Kieran McArdle (29g, 41a) leads the team with 70 points while Kevin Cernuto (26g, 12a) follows behind with 38 points on the year through 10 games.
Red Storm Defense: Senior goalkeeper Jeff Lowman has been the primary netminder this season playing over 560 minutes in net and posting a 10.05 GAA. His 127 saves are good for a .575 save percentage. Lowman's close defensemen, Joe Addona, Andrew Viscusi and Mark DiFrania have combined for 51 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers.
The Last Meeting (4/14/12): Led by a pair of goals from senior C.J. Small, No. 12 Villanova scored four unanswered goals to start the fourth quarter and rallied past St. John's for a 10-8 victory at Villanova Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Small tied the game just over two minutes into the decisive final period and senior Kevin Cunningham gave the Wildcats the lead for good with 10:58 remaining in a game which featured six tied scores and five lead changes.