Sept. 19, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats are in the midst of a four-game home-stand and game number two in that stretch comes Thursday afternoon when the La Salle Explorers (5-1-1 overall) visit the West Campus Soccer Complex.
"La Salle is a hard-working team that has really bought into what they are doing," states Villanova head coach Tom Carlin of the Philadelphia Soccer Six rival. "They are covering for one another and have a good soccer team. It will be an interesting match for us.."
The Wildcats (5-2-0 overall, 0-0-0 BIG EAST) will look to rebound from a 1-0 loss to Princeton on Sunday afternoon. Villanova's effort was hindered by a series of injuries that kept senior Kyle Soroka off the field with a knee injury and knocked senior midfielder Emerson Lawrence out of action in the first half. Lawrence is VU's leading scorer through seven games (4 goals) and Soroka is just one point off that pace despite missing the last two contests. In addition, William Cason and Sean Sheridan also were helped off the field at different points on Sunday, though both returned to action.
Lawrence is not expected to be available for Thursday's match while Soroka continues to be listed as day-to-day.
"We're dealing with some injuries, no question," stated Carlin. "We're going to have to rely on our depth and juggle our lineup a little bit. We want to put guys into spots so that we are still able to attack and defend the way we want to.
"We have been in this situation before and gotten through it. I think it shows the resilience of this bunch. Having had success when battling injuries in the past is something we can draw off."
A year ago, the Wildcats overcame season-ending injuries to long-time stalwarts Chris Bresnahan and Chris Christian along with a three-game absence of leading scorer Dylan Renna to advance to the BIG EAST semi-final for the first time since 1993.
Joe Farrell and Jason Plumhoff lead the Explorers in scoring with three goals and two assists apiece. La Salle defeated Long Island University in its most recent action last Saturday at home.
"For us, we can't get too caught up in the injuries - we just have to remain committed to our approach and play good soccer against a tough local opponent," Carlin stated.