Wildcats Face Road Test at No. 23 Butler in BIG EAST Opener
Sept. 27, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Two teams coming off comeback victories meet Saturday night in the BIG EAST Conference opener when Villanova (3-3-1 overall) tangles with No. 23 Butler (6-1-1 overall) at the Butler Bowl.
The Wildcats stormed back from a 1-0 deficit to Penn Tuesday to down the Quakers 2-1. Freshman Max Kroschwitz scored two goals in a span of 4:24 late in the second half to spur the `Cats to a Philly Soccer Six win. Butler, meanwhile, rallied out of a 2-0 hole on Wednesday evening to defeat defending NCAA champion Indiana on its home pitch 3-2 before a crowd of better than 5,000.
"Butler/Indiana is a big rivalry game and for Butler to pull that win out says a lot about how good they are," says Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "They are ranked in the top 25 this week and will probably go higher after the Indiana win. This is a young and hungry team that has a great goal scorer up top."
Freshman David Goldsmith has scored seven goals in eight games for the Bulldogs, including two in the win over the Hoosiers.
"He has great quickness and the goals he has scored are hard working kinds of goals," notes Carlin. "We will have to be sure to have an eye on him at all times."
Part of the back story to Tuesday's win at Penn was the rapport that is developing between Villanova's two primary forwards, senior Dylan Renna and freshman Max Kroschwitz. Renna had that bond with Kyle Soroka over his first three seasons and it has taken time for the new tandem to get settled following Soroka's graduation. His work along the sideline set up Kroschwitz's first goal on Tuesday.
"Max and Renna have established a nice chemistry," says Carlin. "It took some time, but they each have a feel for when to make their runs and when the ball needs to be delivered. They can be pretty dynamic together and will have help from Oscar (Umar), Sean (Sheridan) and Aaron (Dennis) in setting them up. I thought it started to click for us against Penn."
The Wildcats could face a charged atmosphere on Saturday night as Butler plays its initial BIG EAST game but this will be nothing new for VU. Villanova has already faced such an atmosphere in earlier stops at New Mexico and Monmouth.
"That's why we scheduled those games," states Carlin. "We wanted our guys to be prepared for what we will face on the road in the Big East. We're more battled tested now."
The contest kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday night.