Sept. 11, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - After picking up its first victory of 2013 on Saturday against Marist, Villanova (1-1-1) returns to action Wednesday night against another representative of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference - Monmouth. But the setting will be far different than it was Saturday.
Instead of doing battle on its home pitch, Villanova journeys to its second challenging road venue. The Wildcats faced New Mexico in front of a crowd of 2,791 blaring vuvuzelas in their season opener on Aug. 30. On Wednesday, they will be visit Monmouth's Great Lawn, where the Hawks played before 4,042 in earning a 1-1 draw with Seton Hall on Sept. 7.
Monmouth (0-2-1 overall) got the equalizer with 52 seconds remaining in regulation when Emmanuel Agyemang scored against the Pirates. The Hawks are in their first season of play in the MAAC after coming over from the Northeast Conference, where they earned three consecutive NCAA Tournament bids (2009-11).
One of the Hawks' keys in the midfield is senior Joseph Schmid, who began his college career at Villanova. Schmid scored three goals and was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team in his one season (2010) as a Wildcat.
"Monmouth has been an NCAA Tournament team and this will be a tough environment to play in," says Tom Carlin. "They have a lot of passionate fans. It's hard to call this a rivalry game because we haven't played (recently) but in a lot of ways it is - our guys know a lot of their guys, we had (Schmid) over here. So this will be a good test for us."
Villanova is 3-0-0 all-time against Monmouth but the last meeting came in 2002 in West Long Branch, N.J. The Wildcats posted a 1-0 victory then.
The current edition of Cats hopes to build on the momentum of its second half in the win over Marist when a goal by junior Colton Bryant ignited a three goal outburst to help down the Red Foxes at the Villanova Soccer Complex.
This is the first of three consecutive road games for the Wildcats, who travel to Long Island to visit Stony Brook on Sunday afternoon (2:00 p.m.).