PHILADELPHIA – Penn ventures into Philadelphia Soccer Six action for the first time on Tuesday, making the short trip to the Main Line for a men’s soccer match with Villanova (4 p.m.) at the Villanova Sports Complex.
The Quakers (2-3-0) are looking to snap a three-game losing streak. After winning their first two matches by a combined score of 7-0, the Red and Blue have been outscored 8-3 since as part of their three-match skid.
If history is any indicator, the Wildcats will be an opportune opponent for Penn to get back in the win column against. In 26 all-time meetings, Penn has a 15-6-5 record against its Philly Soccer Six foe. The last five meetings have been pretty much split, each side earning two wins with one draw.
Last year, a wild match at Rhodes Field saw the Quakers and Wildcats score eight combined goals in a 5-3 Villanova win. Penn had leads of 1-0 and 3-2 in the first half, but the Wildcats would score three unanswered goals in the second half to rally for the win. Duke Lacroix had a goal and an assist in the match for the Quakers, Mariano Gonzalez-Guerineau and Travis Cantrell adding the other goals for the Red and Blue. Emerson Lawrence had two goals for the Wildcats, including the winner in the 76’.
The Quakers are 6-4-2 in their last 12 matches against Philadelphia Soccer Six opponents, and 3-2-0 the last two seasons. On the road in Philadelphia matches during that span, the Red and Blue are 4-1-1. Last time at Villanova, the Quakers scored a 2-1 win on Sept. 18, 2011. Stephen Baker scored twice in the first half of that match – the goals coming 5:23 apart in the 20’ and 26’ to give the Quakers all the scoring they would need.
The Wildcats are 2-3-1 this season, coming off a 1-0 loss to Temple on Saturday. After a 7-2 loss at New Mexico to begin the season, Villanova has allowed just four goals over its next five matches while scoring six. Both wins for the Wildcats have come via shutout – a 3-0 win over Marist and a 1-0 clean sheet at Stony Brook. At home in 2013, the Wildcats are 1-1-0.
Villanova finished 2012 with a 12-6-2 record and a 4-4-2 mark in the BIG EAST. Third-team All-BIG EAST midfielder Oscar Umar returns for the Wildcats this season. He has just two assists to start 2013 after registering four goals and three helpers last season. Hayden Harr is dangerous off the bench for the Wildcats with two goals already this season. Last year, he was third on the club in scoring with four goals and two assists.
In goal, Andrew Weakly has started all six matches and made 26 saves. He has allowed 11 goals, entering the match with a goals-against average of 1.77 after spending his first two seasons as primary backup to graduated keeper John Fogarty.