May 2, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship game has been determined and the No. 3-seeded Villanova Wildcats will take on overall No. 1 seed Denver on Saturday at Villanova Stadium. Game time is slated for 4:30pm and the contest will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.
The winner of Saturday's championship game will earn the BIG EAST automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, set to begin next week at campus sites.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 with Jason Knapp calling the action and Ron Zwerin as the analyst. Live stats will also be available on www.villanova.com and live in-game updates will be on www.twitter.com/NovaLacrosse.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth and can be purchased online at www.villanova.com or in person at the stadium.
How They Got Here:
The No. 3 seeded Wildcats defeated No. 2 Marquette 9-6 on Thursday night in the second semifinal at Villanova Stadium. After a lightening delay in the fourth quarter that lasted for an hour and 14 minutes, the two sides resumed play and Villanova coasted for the victory to earn a berth in the BIG EAST Championship for the second straight year.
Senior Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) leads the team with 37 points via 27 goals and 10 assists while sophomore Jack Curran (Fair Haven, N.J.) follows closely behind with 33 points. 20 Wildcats have posted points through 15 games this season. Senior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) has posted a .514 win percentage this season, taking 163-of-317 attempts.
Freshman goalkeeper Dan Willis (Moorestown, N.J.) posts a 9.66 GAA while making 140 saves on the season. His save percentage currently stands at .496. The starting trio at close defense, sophomore John Moderski (Philadelphia, Pa.) and seniors Chris Conroy (Chatham, N.J.) and Chris Piccirilli (Davidsonville, Md.) have combined for 79 ground balls and 54 caused turnovers while senior John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) has tallied 75 ground balls and 36 caused turnovers.
How They Got Here:
Overall No. 1 seed Denver broke a 2-2 tie against No. 4 Rutgers and had two sparks of offense that set them up for the 14-7 victory over the Scarlet Knights on Thursday afternoon. It marked the first appearance for both teams in the BIG EAST Tournament and will be the first championship appearance for Denver as their first year as an associate men's lacrosse member.
Villanova averages 13.40 goals per game on offense and surrenders 8.49 goals per game defensively. Wesley Berg (38g, 17a) leads the team with 55 points while Jack Bobzien (36g, 17a) follows closely behind with 53 points on the year through 15 games.
Ryan LaPlante and Jamie Faus uniquely split time in net and have combined to play over 700 minutes on the season. They have combined to tally 163 saves on the year. As a team, Denver averages a 57% save percentage and an 8.49 goals against average.
The Last Meeting (4/4/14):
Villanova twice battled back from a three-goal deficit and tied the game with two minutes remaining in regulation at 8-8, but the 6th-ranked Denver Pioneers pulled out the overtime victory, 9-8, on Friday night in Villanova Stadium. In a back-and-forth affair that saw three tied scores and two lead changes, the contest marked a battle of the last two undefeated teams in the BIG EAST.