Sept. 24, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova has been without a key senior performer in each of its last three outings but that appears ready to change on Tuesday when the Wildcats return to the West Campus Soccer Complex to host Philadelphia Soccer Six rival Temple at 4:00 p.m. (Nova Nation All-Access)
Senior Kyle Soroka was sidelined for games against Ivy League foes Penn (Sept. 14) and Princeton (Sept. 16) with a sprained knee ligament. He returned to action last Thursday and promptly scored both goals in a 2-1 Soccer Six victory over La Salle.
Classmate Emerson Lawrence was part of a nasty collision with a Princeton player on Sept. 16 and was not in uniform for the win over the Explorers last week. He is expected to be available on Tuesday.
"Emerson should get minutes against Temple and that's good for us," states Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "His presence in the midfield is crucial for us. He understands positioning and keeps us moving through the midfield."
This is the third in a stretch of four straight games the Wildcats will play at home. VU fell to Princeton 1-0 before rebounding with the victory here over the Explorers that was keyed by Soroka.
"Soroka is a target forward but he's really an outside back at heart," says Carlin. "He brings both sides of the ball to that position and that's just so important for us."
Soroka was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll for his efforts in the win over La Salle.
Temple comes to campus fresh from a 4-0 win over Howard on Sunday that pushed the Owls' record to 3-3-1 overall. The Owls and Wildcats last met at Temple in 2008, when the Owls claimed a 2-1 win. Villanova outlasted Temple 3-1 in the most recent meeting here in 2007.
"It's another Soccer Six game and you know it will be filled with spirit, passion and pride," Carlin notes.
"Temple is a good team. They have some very crafty and creative players that we are going to have to key on. From there, it's just a matter of us staying committed to what we know to be Villanova soccer."
The Wildcats have tallied 19 goals in eight games - an average of 2.38 per outing. In 2011, VU recorded 23 goals in 21 games over the course of a full season (1.10 per game). Soroka sets the scoring pace with five goals and an assist for 11 points.
Villanova will conclude this four game home stand on Saturday when it opens BIG EAST play against USF at 1:00 p.m.