VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova men’s lacrosse Head Coach Mike Corrado has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2013 season. The spring slate features some of the toughest competition in the nation and includes seven home games and five contests against 2012 NCAA tournament teams, six of whom were ranked inside the Top 20 in the USILA and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Following the culmination of the regular season, the Wildcats will once again serve as hosts for the BIG EAST Men’s Lacrosse Championship on May 2nd and 4th at Villanova Stadium to begin their 2013 postseason.
For the third consecutive year, Lehigh kicks off the men’s lacrosse campaign as the Wildcats host the Mountain Hawks for the 23rd overall meeting on Saturday, Feb. 16th. Villanova holds a 14-9 advantage in the all-time series after claiming last year’s outing, 17-7, in a routing at Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks concluded their 2012 season with a 14-3 overall record, going 5-1 in the Patriot League and winning their first conference title and trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Rounding out the month of February, Villanova will make the short trek to face Philadelphia-rival Drexel on Tuesday, Feb. 26th. The Wildcats won 2012 meeting against the Dragons 14-9 while Drexel finished the year with an 8-8 overall record and 4-2 CAA finish before falling to UMass in the conference title match. The all-time series between the two programs stands in favor of Villanova at 18-14.
The month of March should give the Wildcats a healthy dose of home field advantage with five out of six games played at Villanova Stadium. On Saturday, March 2nd Villanova hosts Delaware and looks to avenge a 13-9 loss from 2012. The Wildcats lead 7-5 in the all-time series while the Blue Hens finished 2012 with a 6-9 overall record and 1-5 mark in the CAA. Just three days later, VU will make the short trek to Princeton, N.J. to face the Tigers in the Class of 1952 Stadium on Tuesday, March 5th. Princeton upset Villanova at home last season 14-8 and leads the all-time series at 4-1.
On Saturday, March 9th the Wildcats face perhaps their most historic and bitter rival in the University of Pennsylvania at a time and place to be determined. The past two meetings have been won in dramatic fashion with a 2011 9-8 overtime victory and last-second game-winning goal in 2012. Despite the recent contests in favor of VU, the Quakers continue to hold a 15-8 advantage in the all-time series.
Villanova rounds out the month of March with three consecutive home contests against Maryland, Syracuse and Penn State on Saturday March 16th, 23rd and 30th, respectively. The Terps visit Villanova Stadium for the first time since February 22nd, 1997 and own a 7-0 advantage over VU in the all-time series. Maryland finished 2012 with a 12-6 overall record and advanced to the NCAA title game for the second straight year before falling to Loyola 9-3 for the championship. Just a week later, Villanova begins BIG EAST Conference play when they host Syracuse for the third time in two years. The Wildcats handed the Orange a historic 11-10 defeat at the Carrier Dome last March and the two squads met again in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship which favored the Orange, 15-6. Rounding out the month will be another home contest against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, March 30th. Penn State leads the all-time series at 15-3 and claimed the 2012 outing, 13-8, in State College, Pa.
BIG EAST action will dominate Villanova’s April beginning with the final mid-week match of the season against Georgetown on Wednesday, April 3rd at Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C. Just three days later, the Wildcats host Rutgers at Villanova Stadium for a quick turnaround. The Hoyas and Scarlet Knights are both looking to rebound from 7-6 and 6-9 records after finishing 5th and 6th in the 2012 conference standings, respectively.
The Wildcats take to the road for their final away contests of the regular season against St. John’s on Saturday, April 13th and Notre Dame on Saturday, April 20th. The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Red Storm, 8-6, after posting a 10-8 victory in Villanova, Pa. a year ago. Much improved St. John’s concluded the 2012 season falling to Syracuse in the title game of the BIG EAST Championship and will look to continue their momentum in 2013. The Fighting Irish host the Wildcats a week later in South Bend, Ind. for what could be the final time as a fellow BIG EAST opponent. The Wildcats fell to the Fighting Irish, 10-7, at Villanova Stadium last Spring and trail in the all-time series, 11-5, while the Irish advanced to the NCAA semi-finals before being defeated by the eventual NCAA Champions in Loyola.
Villanova concludes the regular season hosting the Providence Friars for Senior Day on Saturday, April 27th for their last tune-up before the BIG EAST Championship and postseason play. The Wildcats lead 3-1 in the all-time series against Providence while the Friars finished their 2012 season 2-12 overall and 1-5 in the BIG EAST. Villanova has once again earned the honor hosting the BIG EAST Championship on Thursday, May 2nd and Saturday, May 4th. The tournament will include the top four teams in BIG EAST regular season round-robin competition with the winner claiming the all-important NCAA automatic bid to the 16-team post-season tournament.
The Wildcats are coming off an 8-7 overall record and 4-2 BIG EAST slate in 2012. The 2013 squad returns 27 letterwinners including 2012 First Team All-BIG EAST selection Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) and Second Team All-BIG EAST honorees in Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) and John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.).
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