April 18, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - No. 19 Villanova (5-6, 4-0) travels to South Bend, Ind. for their final away game of the regular season to face No. 2 Notre Dame (9-2, 3-1) this Saturday, April 20th. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPNU.
Saturday marks the 17th overall meeting between the Wildcats and Fighting Irish with Notre Dame holding the advantage in the all-time series at 11-5. Notre Dame has claimed the two most recent outings in 2011 and 2012 and this year's contest will mark the final matchup between the two squads as part of the BIG EAST Conference.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Saturday's contest with a 5-6 record after defeating St. John's 13-11 on Saturday to remain undefeated in the BIG EAST and clinch a spot in the conference championship. Villanova has posted wins over Delaware (W, 14-9), then-No.4 Syracuse (W, 11-10), Georgetown (W, 8-6), Rutgers (W, 11-9) and St. John's (W, 13-11). 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 15th, Villanova has eight ranked opponents on their 2013 schedule: No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Maryland, No. 5 Syracuse, No. 9 Penn State, No. 12 Princeton, No. 16 Lehigh, No. 17 Drexel and No. 18 Penn
`Nova Offense: The Villanova senior and freshmen classes have combined to produce70.0% of offensive production through 11 games. Freshman John Kluh (16g, 8a) leads the Villanova offense with 24 points while seniors Jack Rice (22g) and Max Hart (15g, 7a) follow closely behind in the Villanova point race.
Junior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist has posted a .561 win percentage this season, taking 138-of-246 attempts. He currently ranks third all-time in Villanova history with a .586 career face-off win percentage.
'Nova Defense: Reed Carlson has earned the starting position in goal this season and posts a .485 save percentage and an 8.83 GAA. Combined, Villanova's keepers have totaled a 10.42 GAA and a .477 save percentage.
The starting trio at close defense, juniors John LoCascio, Chris Conroy and Chris Piccirilli have combined for 101 ground balls and 64 caused turnovers. LoCascio currently leads the NCAA averaging 3.90 caused turnovers per game and has posted 63 ground balls and 39 caused turnovers this season.
A Look at Notre Dame: Notre Dame brings a 9-2 overall record and a 3-1 conference mark into Saturday's showdown with the Wildcats. The Fighting Irish are riding a three game win-streak and have posted victories over Duke (W, 13-5), Penn State (W, 10-9 OT), North Carolina (W, 10-9 3OT), Denver (W, 13-12), Ohio State (W, 9-4), Rutgers (W, 7-6), Marquette (W, 17-5), Providence (W, 13-8) and Georgetown (W, 10-8). Losses on the year have come via Hofstra (L, 13-12 OT) and St. John's (L, 12-10).
Fighting Irish Offense: Notre Dame averages 10.82 goals per game on offense and surrenders 7.68 goals per game defensively. Matt Kavanagh (21g, 11a) leads the team with 32 points while Sean Rogers (20g, 10a) and Jim Marlatt (17g, 9a) follow closely behind with 30 and 26 points on the year through 11 games.
Fighting Irish Defense: Senior goalkeeper John Kemp has been the primary netminder this season playing over 650 minutes in net and posting a 7.65 GAA. His 92 saves are good for a .523 save percentage. Kemp's close defensemen, Matt Miller, Brian Buglione and Stephen O'Hara have combined for 50 ground balls and 29 caused turnovers.
The Last Meeting (4/21/12): No. 5 Notre Dame rallied from a 4-0 deficit to top No. 11 Villanova 10-7 in front of 5,807 fans on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. The Fighting Irish posted eight unanswered goals and held the Wildcats scoreless for just under 40 minutes to remain undefeated in the BIG EAST. Senior Kevin Cunningham led the Villanova offense with three points via one goal and two assists while C.J. Small and Max Hart each contributed two points each. Notre Dame was led by the four point performance of Sean Rogers.