Oct. 22, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova Men's Lacrosse has announced their schedule for the upcoming 2014 season. The spring slate includes six home games, four contests against 2013 NCAA tournament teams and 10 squads that were ranked or receiving votes in the USILA and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls at the conclusion of the 2013 season. Following the culmination of the regular season, the Wildcats will once again serve as hosts for the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship on May 1st and 3rd at Villanova Stadium to begin their 2014 postseason.
For the fourth consecutive year, Lehigh kicks off the men's lacrosse campaign as the Wildcats travel to the Mountain Hawks for the 24th overall meeting on Saturday, Feb. 15th. Villanova holds a 14-10 advantage in the all-time series after falling in last year's outing 11-9. The Mountain Hawks concluded their 2013 season with a 12-5 overall record, going 6-0 in the Patriot League and making their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Villanova will host Philadelphia-rival Drexel on Tuesday, Feb. 25th to round out the opening month of action. The Wildcats lost the 2013 meeting against the Dragons 12-10 in a late-game comeback while Drexel finished the year with an11-4 overall record and 5-1 CAA finish before falling to Towson in the conference title match. The all-time series between the two programs stands in favor of Villanova at 18-15.
The month of March will be a busy one for the Wildcats with seven games in a span of 28 days, including four road matches and three contests at Villanova Stadium. On Saturday, March 1st Villanova travels to Delaware and looks for their second straight win over the Blue Hens after posting a 14-9 victory in 2013. A week later, VU will host Penn for a Saturday matchup between historic rivals where the Quakers lead the all-time series 16-8 on Saturday, March 8th. The following week the Wildcats will head to College Park, Md. to take on Maryland, who currently boasts the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. A midweek date with Princeton on March 18th continues the renewed rivalry between the Tigers and Wildcats dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
The latter end of March heats up with the start of the BIG EAST Conference slate beginning with the first-ever meeting with Marquette on Saturday, March 22nd in Milwaukee, Wis. Three days later the Wildcats host the Georgetown Hoyas at 7pm in Villanova Stadium. The two squads met twice last year with Villanova coming out on top in the regular season and semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship. The Wildcats own a 12-7 all-time record over the Hoyas and have claimed the last four meetings dating back to 2011. Rounding out the month will be an away game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, March 29th. Penn State leads the all-time series at 16-3 and claimed the 2013 outing, 7-6, at Villanova.
BIG EAST action will dominate April with the first BIG EAST contest against Denver on Saturday, April 5th. The Wildcats last met the Pioneers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2011 but 2014 marks the first foray against DU as part of the BIG EAST. Three straight road contests on April 12th, 19th and 23rd dot the schedule against Rutgers, St. John's and Johns Hopkins and will give Villanova plenty of competition to prep for the postseason. The Blue Jays host Villanova for a midweek matchup as a marquee event of the season for both sides. Villanova and JHU last met over 10 years ago on April 2nd, 2002 while Hopkins holds a 6-0 all-time record over the Wildcats.
Villanova concludes the regular season hosting the Providence Friars for Senior Day on Saturday, April 26th for their last tune-up before the BIG EAST Championship and postseason play. The Wildcats lead 4-1 in the all-time series against Providence while the Friars finished their 2013 season 8-8 overall and 1-5 in the BIG EAST. Villanova has once again earned the honor hosting the BIG EAST Championship on Thursday, May 1st and Saturday, May 3rd. The championship will include the top four teams in BIG EAST regular season round-robin competition with the winner claiming the all-important NCAA automatic bid to the 16-team post-season tournament.
The Wildcats are coming off a 7-8 overall record and 5-1 BIG EAST slate in 2013 where they claimed the BIG EAST Regular Season Title. The 2014 squad returns 29 letterwinners including 2013 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) and All-BIG EAST First Team selections Christopher Conroy (Chatham, N.J.), Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) and John Kluh (Lothian, Md.)