Oct. 11, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats return home on Saturday to host BIG EAST rival St. John's. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m.
"Obviously, any time you play St. John's you know you are in for a battle," states Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "This is a very well-coached team that is very aggressive in its approach. We will have to deal with their pressure."
The Wildcats have suffered three consecutive one goal defeats in BIG EAST action, each time surrendering the deciding goal with less than 20 minutes left in regulation. Butler scored a set piece goal in the 73rd minute in the league opener on Sept. 28 to snap a 1-1 tie. Marquette got the game's only goal in transition in the 94th minute last Saturday on West Campus. And Seton Hall broke a 1-1 tie at 82:50 in a 2-1 defeat on Wednesday night.
"In the moment of truth, we just have to be better," says Carlin. "There are certain points that will define a game and we've been on the wrong end of those lately. That's part of growing up as a team and we can't focus on the misfortune. We have got to keep pushing and learn from it."
The Wildcats also hope to get off to a faster start than they have in recent action. VU has fallen victim to a first half goal in two of its three conference matches thus far and playing from behind only adds to the urgency against quality opponents.
"We have tended to be more reactionary than attacking and that's also a sign of a young team," Carlin says. "We're still trying to find our own identity. You're usually better off when you can dictate the pace of play rather than reacting to it."
St. John's comes to Villanova with a 6-4-1 overall record and 0-2-1 in the BIG EAST. The Red Storm is 6-1 on its home turf at Belson Stadium in Jamaica, N.Y., and defeated La Salle 3-0 in its most recent outing on Tuesday night.
The Red Storm is led in points by sophomore Sean Sepe, who has delivered five goals and an assist thus far in 2013. St. John's has been stingy defensively, surrendering only 10 goals in its 11 games played. Senior goalkeeper Rafael Diaz was named the BIG EAST Pre-season Goalkeeper of the Year and has posted an 0.86 goals against average while starting all 11 games for the Red Storm.
A video stream of Saturday's match will be available through the Nova Nation All-Access Pass at villanova.com.