Wildcats Set For First Test of 2012 at Manhattan
Aug. 23, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova travels to Riverdale, N.Y. to open its 2012 season against the host Manhattan Jaspers of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on Friday night. The contest will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Gaelic Park.
Both teams enter the new season hoping to build upon strong work in their respective conference playoffs last fall. The Wildcats upended nationally ranked Notre Dame and USF by identical 1-0 scores on the road to advance to the BIG EAST semifinal for the first time since 1993. The Jaspers closed with a flourish to reach the MAAC Championship, where they fell to Fairfield 3-1.
The Wildcats defeated the Jaspers 2-0 in the 2011 regular season opener at the West Campus Soccer Complex. Aaron Dennis scored both goals while John Fogarty was credited with his first career shutout.
Villanova head coach Tom Carlin and his squad, with 10 starters returning, are eager to plunge into the new campaign.
"One thing we have been talking a lot about is commitment," says Carlin, who begins his fifth season as the Wildcats' coach on Friday night. "We've been stressing that we want to have the same kind of commitment to our game plan that we had at the end of last season. Earlier last season, I think we were inconsistent in that area at times and it hurt us.
"In our scrimmages, we saw some of that commitment but didn't put it together for 90 minutes. That's our challenge against Manhattan - to bring with us that great commitment to attacking and defending on the road for 90 minutes or more."
Villanova returns to its West Campus Complex on Tuesday for its regular season home opener against Stony Brook at 4:00 p.m. (Nova Nation All-Access)