Nov. 7, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats began the 2013 regular season in a challenging environment on the road against a nationally ranked team at New Mexico. They will conclude the regular season campaign in much the same way when they visit No. 8 Georgetown on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
The Hoyas will celebrate their Senior Day prior to the match. Among those to be honored is senior forward Steve Neumann, who leads Georgetown with 10 goals and six assists. He is complemented up front by Brandon Allen, who has 23 points on his own.
"Anytime you go up against forwards like Steve Neumann and Brandon Allen, it's a challenge," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "This is a top 10 team with great firepower."
The Wildcats enter the match at 8-8-1 overall, 3-5-0 BIG EAST. While the Hoyas (12-4-1 overall, 5-2-1 BIG EAST) hope to enhance their standing in the last match before the BI G EAST Championship begins next week, Villanova has a tougher standard. As one of four sides vying for the sixth and final berth in the BIG EAST Championship, the `Cats very much need the three points that would come with a victory.
"If we lose we are mathematically eliminated and if we tie we are realistically eliminated," noted Carlin. "Our backs are up against the wall. We don't control our own destiny."
Butler, Seton Hall and Villanova are tied entering play Friday with nine points. St. John's is one point back. St. John's plays at Seton Hall and Butler hosts Xavier later in the day. A VU victory combined with losses by Butler and Seton Hall would give VU sole possession of sixth place.
Carlin and his team, though, remain centered on what they can control.
"We all know that we played well against Xavier," stated Carlin of a game in which the `Cats outshot the Musketeers 14-6. "I thought we were able to force them out of what they wanted to do tactically and frustrate them. We forced their keeper to make two great saves. Unfortunately, we didn't get the result.
"I think our guys are ready for this test. We've been here before. We've gone to Creighton and won in a game we needed to have. This is a Big East soccer game and it will be highly competitive."
The Wildcats will look to generate their own offensive firepower against the Hoyas. Juniors Oscar Umar and Aaron Dennis both applied heavy pressure against Xavier and senior Dylan Renna hopes to add to his point total of 2013 (seven).