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Villanova hosting BIG EAST men’s semifinals Thursday; No. 1 ‘Cats face Georgetown

Wednesday, 1st May 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/1/13

Villanova is hosting the Men’s BIG EAST semifinal playoffs Thursday and Saturday.

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The details:

SEMIFINAL 1
No. 2 Syracuse vs. No. 3 Notre Dame
TV: ESPNU, 4:30pm
Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play)
Quint Kessenich (analyst)

SEMIFINAL 2
No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 4 Georgetown
TV: ESPN3/ESPNU (tape delay), 7:00pm
Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play)
Quint Kessenich (analyst)

Villanova midfielder Eric Gartner (Great Valley) is a key to the 'Cats' attack

Villanova midfielder Eric Gartner (Great Valley) is a key to the ‘Cats’ attack

The BIG EAST Men’s Lacrosse Championship hosted by Villanova University begins this Thursday, May 2nd and will provide some of the best collegiate lacrosse action in the nation. Villanova, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Georgetown have earned the right to play for the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and the action will conclude on Saturday, May 4th in the Championship game slated to faceoff at Noon in Villanova Stadium.

Syracuse will take on Notre Dame in the first semifinal match on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. which will air live on ESPNU, while Villanova square off against Georgetown in the second semifinal match of the day at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 and on tape delay on ESPNU. Thursday’s contest marks the 19th overall meeting between Villanova and Georgetown with the all-time series favoring Villanova, 11-7. Villanova claimed the regular-season contest on April 3rd winning 8-6 on the Hoya’s home turf.

Georgetown midfielder Billy Flatley (Conestoga) looks to get his team into the finals

Georgetown midfielder Billy Flatley (Conestoga) looks to get his team into the finals

How They Got Here: A two-way tie for first place with Syracuse and Villanova at 5-1 in the conference standings allowed Villanova to gain the No. 1 seed by defeating Syracuse during the regular season, 11-10. The Wildcats enter Thursday’s contest with a 6-7 record after defeating Providence 19-11 last weekend.

`Nova Offense: The Villanova senior and freshmen classes have combined to produce 68.9% of offensive production through 13 games. Senior Jack Rice (30g) leads the Villanova offense with 30 points while classmate Max Hart (18g, 10a) follows closely behind in the Villanova point race.

Junior face-off specialist Thomas Croonquist has posted a .575 win percentage this season, taking 173-of-301 attempts. He currently ranks third all-time in Villanova history with a .590 career face-off win percentage.

‘Nova Defense: Reed Carlson has earned the starting position in goal and posts a .493 save percentage and a 9.56 GAA. The starting trio at close defense, juniors John LoCascio, Chris Conroy and Chris Piccirilli have combined for 123 ground balls and 76 caused turnovers. LoCascio currently leads the NCAA averaging 3.92 caused turnovers per game and has posted 75 ground balls and 47caused turnovers this season.

Syracuse midfielder Matt Walters (Haverford School) is a key EMO weapon

Syracuse midfielder Matt Walters (Haverford School) is a key EMO weapon

How They Got Here: Georgetown and St. John’s both ended the conference season at 3-3, but the Hoyas defeat of the Red Storm during the regular season in a 14-13 overtime win allowed them to clinch the fourth and final seed in the conference championship.

Hoya Offense: Georgetown averages 10.00 goals per game on offense and surrenders 10.60 goals per game defensively. Reilly O’Connor (23g, 27a) leads the team with 50 points while Charles McCormick (18g, 8a) follows closely behind with 26 points on the year through 14 games.

Hoya Defense: Sophomore goalkeeper Jake Haley has been the primary netminder this season playing over 700 minutes in net and posting a 10.82 GAA. His 131 saves are good for a .504 save percentage. Haley’s close defensemen, Chris Nourse, Brennan Bicknese and Patrick Murray have combined for 71 ground balls and 38 caused turnovers.

The Last Meeting (4/3/13): Led by the standout performances of freshman John Kluh and junior John LoCascio, the Villanova Wildcats posted an 8-6 victory over Georgetown at Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C. With the win, Villanova remains undefeated in BIG EAST action while Georgetown falls to 1-1 in the conference. In a game where the Wildcats were held scoreless for 26:01 to bridge the first and third quarters and were trailing the Hoyas going into the final stanza, Villanova tied the game with 13:34 remaining at 6-6 and netted the game-winning goal with 8:50 remaining to solidify the contest.

Notre Dame midfielder Westy Hopkins (La Salle, Lawrenceville School) is a key veteran

Notre Dame midfielder Westy Hopkins (La Salle, Lawrenceville School) is a key veteran

Notre Dame vs. Syracuse

SETTING THE STAGE
• No. 5 Notre Dame (10-3) will face No. 3 Syracuse (11-3) Thursday in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship. The game is slated for 4:30 p.m. (ET) at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pa.
• The Fighting Irish are the tournament’s No. 3 seed, while the Orange are the No. 2 seed. Top-seeded Villanova will face fourth-seeded Georgetown at 7 p.m. in the second semifinal. The winners will meet for the title at noon (ET) on Saturday.
• This will be the second meeting in six days between the Fighting Irish and Orange. Notre Dame fell to Syracuse, 10-4, on Saturday at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
• The Notre Dame-Syracuse clash will be broadcast live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.com. Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play) and Quint Kessenich (analyst) will be on the call. Live stats will be available on bigeastlacrosse.com, which will also feature game highlights and a live stream of all postgame press conferences.

IRISH-ORANGE SERIES NOTES
• Thursday will be the eighth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Syracuse. The Orange lead the series 6-1.
• The Fighting Irish held a 3-1 halftime lead during Saturday’s showdown, yet the Orange outscored the Irish 7-1 in the second half, including 6-0 in the fourth quarter. Freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh scored a team-high two goals for the Irish.
• Notre Dame bested Syracuse, 8-6, last season at Arlotta Stadium.

A LOOK AT THE ORANGE
• Syracuse is 11-3 overall and tied Villanova for the BIG EAST regular-season title with a 5-1 league mark.
• The Orange offense is averaging 12.1 goals per game, while the defense is allowing 9.3 per game. Luke Cometti (Sr./M) and Derek Maltz (Jr./A) both have a team-high 24 goals, while JoJo Marasco (Sr./M) leads Syracuse in assists (30) and points (47). Dominic Lamolinara (Jr.) and Bobby Wardwell (So.) have split time in goal. Lamolinara, who was in goal during Saturday’s game against the Irish, is 8-2 with an 8.97 goals-against average and a .521 save percentage. Wardwell is 3-1 with a 9.22 goals-against average and a .459 save percentage.
• Syracuse went 9-8 last season (3-3 BIG EAST) and won the BIG EAST Championship. The Orange fell at Duke, 12-9, in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
• Head coach John Desko is in his 15th season at the helm of the Syracuse program.

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