Oct. 8, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In the days since a tough 1-0 overtime loss to Marquette on Saturday, Villanova head coach Tom Carlin and his staff have spent a good bit of time examining video of past performances. Naturally, there was film study of Saturday's contest along with time spent scouting the Wildcats' next opponent, Seton Hall.
Yet those clips weren't the only ones Carlin studied. He peered further back in a coaching tenure that began in 2008 to a period when the Wildcats were just as inexperienced as they are now.
"I was actually just watching some game tape from years back," he says. "You watch players who were very accomplished in this program and see all the mistakes they made as young players. It's part of the learning curve and part of the team coming into its own. It takes time to develop the resilience and resolve to not let those mistakes happen in future games.
"Unfortunately, we've been doing a lot of learning."
The Wildcats head to South Orange with a 4-5-1 overall mark that includes an 0-2 record in BIG EAST action. The `Cats have alternated losses and wins since posting a 3-0 victory over Marist on Sept. 7.
"This group still believes that we can win, be in the BIG EAST playoffs and make a run," states Carlin. "The mood is good."
Villanova brings a four game winning streak against the Pirates into Wednesday night's contest. The Wildcats defeated the Hall 3-1 in the most recent meeting between the schools last November in the opening round of the 2012 BIG EAST Championship at the Villanova Soccer Complex.
"We do have a senior presence but we are mostly a young team," notes Carlin. "I think that playoff win from last year is so far in the rear view that this will be an entirely new experience for our team."
The Wildcats have had success in South Orange over the past decade. VU has taken the last four encounters between the teams in New Jersey with its last loss coming in 2004.
Seton Hall is 3-5-2 overall, 0-2-0 in BIG EAST play. The Pirates were defeated at No. 11 ranked Georgetown by an 8-0 count on Saturday and this is their BIG EAST home opener. They are led in scoring by Samuel Geiler (nine points) and Max Garcia (seven points).
"This is a very good attacking team," says Carlin. "You watch them on tape and you see them put a lot of pressure on the opposing team. They create a lot of chances. Even in some of their losses it looks like they outplayed their opponent. It's a situation similar to the one we've been in.
"You look at them and say, that's a pretty solid team that can break you down very easily. If you don't score on them, it becomes a problem."
Both clubs are seeking their first conference win, which underscores the importance of the matchup.
"I think both teams are approaching this the same way," Carlin says.
The match is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Owen T. Carroll Field on the Seton Hall campus.