April 26, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - No. 19 Villanova (5-7, 4-1) returns to Villanova Stadium for their final regular season home game of the 2013 season this Saturday, April 27th as they take on the Providence Friars (8-7, 1-4). Game time is slated for 1 p.m.
Saturday marks the 5th overall meeting between the Wildcats and Friars with Villanova holding the advantage in the all-time series at 3-1. Providence claimed the most recent outing on April 28th, 2012 15-11 for their first win over Villanova in school history. Prior to last season, Villanova had claimed the previous three contests between the two schools.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Saturday's contest with a 5-7 record after falling to Notre Dame 13-9 last weekend. 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), Penn State (L, 7-6) and Notre Dame (L, 13-9).
As of the latest USILA Coaches Poll released on Monday, April 22nd, Villanova has nine ranked opponents on their 2013 schedule: No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 2 Maryland, No. 7 Syracuse, No. 9 Penn State, No. 12 Princeton, No. 14 Lehigh, No. 17 Drexel, No. 18 Penn and No. 20 St. John's.
`Nova Offense: The Villanova senior and freshmen classes have combined to produce 70.9% of offensive production through 12 games. Seniors Jack Rice (26a) and Max Hart (17g, 9a) lead the Villanova offense with 26 points each while freshman John Kluh (16g, 9a) follows closely behind in the Villanova point race.
Junior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist has posted a .566 win percentage this season, taking 154-of-272 attempts. He currently ranks third all-time in Villanova history with a .587 career face-off win percentage.
'Nova Defense: Reed Carlson has earned the starting position in goal and posts a .484 save percentage and an 9.43 GAA. The starting trio at close defense, juniors John LoCascio, Chris Conroy and Chris Piccirilli have combined for 112 ground balls and 68 caused turnovers. LoCascio currently leads the NCAA averaging 3.91 caused turnovers per game and has posted 70 ground balls and 43 caused turnovers this season.
A Look at Providence: Providence brings an 8-7 overall record and a 1-4 conference mark into Saturday's showdown with the wildcats. The Friars are on a two game losing streak and have fallen to Georgetown (16-8), Syracuse (18-9), Siena (13-11), Yale (13-6), Notre Dame (13-8), Brown (7-6) and St. John's (16-13) this season. Wins have come over Wagner (17-6), Vermont (13-5), Manhattan (12-9), Sacred Heart (12-10), Quinnipiac (13-12), Bryant (10-9), Rutgers (10-9 OT) and Holy Cross (12-11).
Friar Offense: Providence averages 10.66 goals per game on offense and surrender 11.08 goals per game defensively. Sean Wright (38g, 11a) leads the team with 49 points while Andrew Barton (27g, 17a) and JT Weber (24g, 13a) follow loosely behind with 44 and 37 points on the year through 15 games.
Friar Defense: Freshman goalkeeper Jack Connelly has been the primary netminder this season playing over 880 minutes in net and posting a 11.13 GAA. His 158 saves are good for a .491 save percentage. Connelly's close defensemen, Griffin Goudreau, Mike Noyes and Ryan Martin have combined for 87 ground balls and 52 caused turnovers.
The Last Meeting (4/28/12): Providence took the heightened motivation of the last game of the season and celebration of Senior Day to pull off a 15-11 upset over 13th-ranked Villanova on Saturday afternoon. The Friars were led by five-point performances of Sean Wright and Jake Nolan while senior goalkeeper Christian Dzwilewski posted 14 saves in the victory. Villanova's Will Casertano, Kevin Cunningham and C.J. Small each tallied three points in the defeat.