Villanova Earns Share of Big East Regular Season Title
from press release
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova used 14 different point scorers in an outstanding team effort to pace themselves to a 19-11 victory over the Providence Friars (8-8, 1-5) on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. With the win, the Wildcats (6-7, 5-1) secured at least a share of the BIG EAST Regular Season Championship by finishing the 2013 conference slate with a 5-1 record.
"It's always a goal of ours to win the championship and it's great to get at least a share of it for our program and kids. The team is looking forward to playing in the BIG EAST Championship this coming week and hopefully this turns out to be a good way to start our postseason run," stated Head Coach Mike Corrado following the contest.
Led by the four goal performance of senior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.), who climbed up to third on Villanova's All-Time leading goal scoring list with 121 career goals, Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) and Harte Thompson (Chester Springs, Pa.) also contributed four points each in a dominate showing by the senior class. Combined, the Class of 2013 tallied 17 points for the afternoon in their last regular season home game at Villanova Stadium.
Junior Thomas Croonquist also had another terrific performance from the faceoff X, nabbing 19-of-29 (.656) attempts and 15 ground balls to lead the team. It marked the fifth game this season the specialist has tallied at least 15 faceoff wins in a single game performance.
Corrado continued, "Croonquist had a great day at the faceoff X and we scored a lot of goals in transition which was good to see from our defensive guys. The seniors really stepped up which was nice in their last regular season home game. It was a good win for us as we look ahead into next week and hopefully it will give us some momentum."
In the highest combined scoring game for Villanova this season, the Wildcats turned a close 4-3 advantage over the Friars in the first quarter to an 8-4 lead going into halftime. A five-goal scoring streak to bridge the second and third quarters, which held the opposition scoreless for 13:45, helped the Wildcats to a 12-4 lead with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter.
With 5:43 left in the third stanza, Villanova went on another three-goal run with scores from Rice and sophomore Ryan DeSimone (Saint James, N.Y.) to increase the lead to the biggest of the game at 15-5.
The final 15 minutes favored the Wildcats by a 5-4 advantage, with scores coming from John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.), Eric Gartner (Great Valley, Pa.), Tim Mulrenan (Glen Ridge, N.J.) and Matt McIver (Andover, Mass.). Providence found their final score of the game with five seconds on the clock from Buck McClure to close out the contest in favor of the Wildcats, 19-11.
Providence was led by Sean Wright's three goals and one assist while JT Weber, Greg FitzMaurice, Daniel Textor and Josh Torres each contributed multiple points.
Defensively, LoCascio grabbed five ground balls and caused four turnovers while classmates Chris Piccirilli and Christopher Conroy combined for seven ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Sophomore goalkeeper Reed Carlson (Arnold, Md.) tallied 12 saves in the victory while the Friar's Jack Connelly made 10 stops in the defeat.
Villanova will now wait for today's games to finish to find out their seeding for the BIG EAST Championship on May 2nd and 4th at Villanova Stadium. Their victory today secures Villanova at least a No. 1 or 2 seed depending on the outcome of tonight's Syracuse and Notre Dame matchup.
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