Sept. 28, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Wildcats are hoping to bounce back with a pair of victories this weekend after some tough losses over the past few weeks. First up, Villanova will head to Rutgers for BIG EAST action Saturday, Sept. 29 at noon followed by a home game versus Bryant on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 PM. Fans can catch a glimpse of Sunday's action on Villanova All-Access .
The 2012 schedule has slated Villanova a series of tough opponents over the past two weeks including games versus No. 1 UNC, No. 2 Syracuse and No. 5 UConn (numbers based on the Penn Monto/NFHCA poll when games occurred).The Wildcats suffered losses to all three ranked teams.
Scouting Report: Villanova (4-5)
Villanova is coming off a close 1-0 loss to BIG EAST powerhouse No. 5 Connecticut. The Wildcats held the Huskies scoreless until the final five minutes of the game. Villanova's defense stopped or cleared 11 of UConn's 12 corner play opportunities.
Offensively, the Wildcats will need to execute their own corner play chances and keep the ball in their circle. Villanova only had one corner and one shot in the loss to Connecticut. Leah High leads the attack with five goals and two assists on the season.
Alex Diekmann has had a truly break-out season thus far. The junior goaltender has earned three appearances on the BIG EAST's Weekly Honor Roll and has registered 71 saves on the season. Diekmann proved she is a firm force in the cage against the Huskies as she posted a season and career-best 14 saves for the second time in her nine games played.
History vs. Rutgers:
The Wildcats defeated Rutgers 2-1 last season and are looking to improve their 17-13-1 all-time record against the Scarlet Knights as well as snag their first conference win this season.
Scouting Report: Rutgers (5-5)
Rutgers has proved they can compete against top-ranked teams as they hung tough with ranked opponents No. 14 BU and No. 25 Maine, losing both contests by only one goal. The Scarlet Knights defeated No. 19 Albany 3-2 earlier this season.
In the BIG EAST, Rutgers has suffered losses to both Syracuse and Connecticut and are searching to capture their first conference victory.
Leading the Scarlet Knights offensively are Christie Lonsky and Lisa Patrone who each have four goals and an assist thus far in the season. Lonsky netted the game-winner in the 4-3 OT victory to Cornell last Sunday.
Sarah Stuby has registered 55 saves in the cage and posted two shutouts, one against Sacred Heart and another versus Bryant.
History vs. Bryant
Villanova and Bryant's contest will mark the first time the two teams will meet. A game had been scheduled for the 2011 season, but due to Hurricane Irene, was subsequently cancelled.
Scouting Report: Bryant (2-7)
Bryant has faced ranked opponents No. 16 University of California and No. 25 Maine, but fell short in both contests. The Bulldogs' two wins come from a 3-2 defeat over Colgate and a 2-0 victory against Brown.
The Bulldogs' star forward Rosie Bird has tallied seven of Bryant's 14 goals this season. In the backfield, goalkeeper Megan Hancock has notched 71 saves and a shutout against Brown.
`Cats Stick It To Cancer
Villanova will host their annual "Stick It to Cancer" field hockey game on Sunday versus Bryant. The proceeds will benefit the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
The Wildcats will hold a balloon release prior to the game to celebrate the cause in a tangible way. Fans can write a name/message in honor of someone for whom they would like to pay tribute -- a survivor, a fighter, or someone who has passed.
VUFH will also be hosting a "Meet & Greet" autograph session with the team, coaches, and mascot immediately following their post-game wrap up.
Check out the FirstGiving website for more information on the NFCR or to donate to the cause.