PHILADELPHIA - This Saturday, for the second straight season, Penn will participate in one of Inside Lacrosse's premium events. This year, it is the inaugural Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic which will be held at PPL Park in Chester (home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union). The 18th-ranked Quakers will face local rival Villanova in the second game of a tripleheader.
GAME 5 - #18 PENN (3-1) vs. VILLANOVA (1-3)
Saturday, March 9, 2013 * 2:30 p.m.
PPL Park (Chester, Pa.)
TV: ESPN3.com (Mark Dixon, Quint Kessenich)
Click here for Independence Classic information!
Three games will take place at PPL Park on Saturday. No. 12 Syracuse and St. John's will start the day, facing off at noon; Penn and Villanova will face off after that, at approximately 2:30 p.m.; No. 13 Penn State and No. 19 Lehigh will close out the day, facing off at approximately 5 p.m. (Rankings are courtesy of the USILA national coaches poll.)
Ticket prices to the Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic are $45 for club seats; $35 for midfield reserved seats; $25 for sideline reserved locations; $20 for groups of 10 or more; and $15 for groups of 100 or more. Parking can also be purchased in advance for $15.
Fans can call ComcastTix at 800-298-4200, visit PhiladelphiaUnion.com or IndependenceClassic.com to get the latest news on the event and ticket details. Tickets will also be available at the stadium on the day of the game.
The Series with Villanova
The Quakers and the Wildcats have met 23 times overall, with Penn holding a 15-8 series lead. However, this has developed into a nice little rivalry, as the teams have met every year since 1998. Villanova holds an 8-7 lead in these 15 uninterrupted games and the teams have played eight one-goal games, one two-goal game, and three three-goal games during that span. Each of the last three meetings have been one-goal affairs, including last year's game that was won by Villanova on a near-midfield shot that found the back of the Penn cage with one second left.
The Wildcats (1-3) lost 14-11 to No. 5 Princeton on Tuesday night, continuing a hard-luck start to the season that also includes close losses to Lehigh and Drexel. Villanova's win came against Delaware. Jack Rice leads the 'Cats in scoring, with eight goals, while Nick Doherty has eight points (5g, 3a) and Jack Curran has also scored five times. Three other players have four goals each. In goal, Greg Stamatov has played all but two minutes this season; he has a 12.10 goals-against average and a .438 save percentage.
*Penn has defeated two teams ranked in the USILA poll at the time of their game with the Quakers (No. 14 Duke, No. 17 Lehigh) and lost to another (No. 10 Denver).
*Penn had eight different goalscorers in the season opener against Duke, and seven last Saturday at Denver; in the Saint Joseph's and Lehigh games, six different players scored Penn's six goals.
*Eleven different players have scored Penn's 38 goals, and the Quakers have a nice balance of assisted goals (15) and unassisted goals (23); in other words, a lot of guys are finding a lot of different ways to score.
*Penn is averaging 9.50 goals per game so far this season; last year the Quakers averaged 7.85 goals per game, two years ago it was 8.20 per contest.
*Penn has outscored its opponents in the fourth quarter, 12-6, so far this season.
*Penn is outshooting its three opponents by an average of 39.8 to 31.2 so far this season.
*Penn has outshot its opponents 98-46 in the second half this season (49-19 in the third quarter, 47-27 in the fourth).
*When Penn and Duke played at Franklin Field in 2011, the final score was 7-3; on February 22, the teams combined for more goals before the first quarter was over (it ended with Penn up, 6-5).
*Penn scored 14 goals against the Blue Devils, its best offensive output since April 3, 2010 when the Quakers lost to Yale, 16-14.
*Senior Tim Schwalje was Penn's top returning leading scorer, and he is leading the team this season in goals (8), assists (7) and points (15). He has had hat tricks against Duke and Denver.
*Schwalje has a point in 16 straight games after scoring in every game last season.
*Senior Ryan Parietti only has five poitns this season (4g, 1a), but he joins Schwalje as the only Penn players to record a point in every game this season.
*Sophomore Isaac Bock scored once last season; he had four in the season opener against Duke, while also adding an assist, and then scored a goal Saturday at Denver and had an assist against Lehigh.
*In his collegiate debut, freshman Nick Doktor scored twice; in fact, in his first quarter as a collegian he scored twice. He has four points (3g, 1a) so far this season.
*Another freshman, Mark Leonhard, also scored in his first collegiate game; he had an assist last Saturday at Denver, then scored a goal Tuesday at Lehigh.
*After a stellar freshman campaign in 2011, Drew Belinsky broke his ankle prior to his sophomore season and never seemed to fully get over it. After four games this season, the junior has recorded four goals and two assists.
*Classmate Zack Losco had a hat trick Saturday at Denver and has scored a goal in every game so far this season as he has made the jump to the first midfield unit for this season.
*Sophomores Will Laco and Chris Hupfeldt saw no game action last year (Hupfeldt due to injury); Laco has scored in each of the last three games, while "Hup" had goals against Saint Joseph's and Denver.
*Senior defenseman Anthony Santomo scored against Duke, the team's only long-stick goal so far this season; it was the captain's first collegiate goal.
*Against Lehigh, Santomo was matched up against the Mountain Hawks' top scoring threat, David DiMaria; DiMaria had 29 points in Lehigh's first five games, but was held to an assist (in a man-up situation) in the game's final minute of Penn's 6-4 win on Tuesday.
*Santomo is joined as a captain by classmate Brendan Engelke, a goalie, and junior defenseman Maxx Meyer.
*Junior Danny Feeney has taken a majority of Penn's faceoffs this season (54 of 86); he has a .500 win percentage on the X.
*Sophomore Joe McCallion, who is running on the second midfield -- he scored a goal Tuesday at Lehigh -- has taken the other 32 faceoffs this season and has a .469 win percentage.
*In goal, junior Brian Feeney had 17 saves Tuesday night at Lehigh, a career high (previous high 14) while allowing just four goals; it was a nice comeback for the junior, who had just six saves while allowing 15 goals last Saturday at Denver.
*Feeney struggled in the first quarter of the first two games (4 saves, 7 goals allowed) but responded with a strong night the rest of the way (19 saves, 7 goals allowed).
*Feeney has been Penn's No. 1 almost his entire career, has an 8.52 goals-against average and a .582 save percentage.
*Penn has five players who were UnderArmour All-America selections in high school: juniors Drew Belinsky and Brian Feeney, and freshmen Nick Doktor, Pat Berkery and Sam Rohr (who will miss this season due to injury).
*Sophomores Joe McCallion and Chris Hupfeldt were seniors on the Haverford School (Pa.) boys' lacrosse team that ended the 2011 season ranked as the No. 1 high school program in the country.
*Two other players who have not yet seen time this year, Berkery and freshman Rob Savage, were on the Garden City (N.Y.) team that was ranked No. 1 at the end of last year.
*If the Savage name looks familiar to Penn fans, your intuition is correct -- Rob is indeed the brother of Dan Savage, who graduated last year and played four years on the Quaker lacrosse team.
*Penn lacrosse continues to be a family affair for McCallion, whose sister, Kelly, is a senior and a member of the Quakers' Ivy League champion women's lacrosse team.
*If Saturday's game gets to overtime, beware Drew Belinsky; as a freshman, he scored the OT winner in two different games, against Yale and Harvard.
*Penn welcomed two former Quaker football players to the roster this season, seniors Dave Twamley and C.J. Mooney. Both players were starters on defense for the Ivy League champs this fall -- in fact, they won three rings during their tenure on the gridiron -- and Twamley was a second-team All-Ivy recipient. Twamley has seen regular game action in the midfield.