PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team has won two in a row over in-state opponents, defeating then-No. 20 Penn State last Saturday and then Lafayette on Tuesday. On Saturday, the Quakers hope to keep the in-state momentum going, making the short trip to the Main Line for a matchup with No. 13 Villanova. Saturday’s game will face off at 4 p.m.
GAME 5 – PENN (3-1) at #13 VILLANOVA (3-1)
Saturday, March 12, 2016 * 4 p.m.
Villanova Stadium (Villanova, Pa.)
The Series with Villanova
Penn leads the series, 17-9, but this has been a heated rivalry in recent years. In fact, in the 16 games since 1999 there have been nine one-goal games -- including four of the last six meetings, and five of the last eight -- and three others that were a two-goal or three-goal difference. Last year’s 17-11 Villanova win at Franklin Field was clearly an outlier.
Jake Froccaro has 19 goals and five assists this season, and leads the NCAA in goals per game (4.75). Sixteen different players have posted points for the Wildcats through four games, and Villanova has outscored opponents so far, 68-44. Sophomore Luke Palmadesso ranks third in the NCAA in faceoff win percentage. As a team, the Wildcats are second in the NCAA in scoring offense (17.0) and second in points per game (26.5). In goal, junior Dan Willishas a 10.23 goals against average and a .441 save percentage.
*As a team, Penn’s man-down defense is second nationally with a .917 success rate; the Quakers are also third in saves per game (15.00).
*Freshman goalkeeper Reed Junkin is third nationally in saves per game (14.75), sixth in save percentage (.621), and 22nd in goals-against average (9.09).
*Senior attackman Nick Doktor is eighth nationally in assists per game (2.50) and 23rd in points per game (4.00).
*Penn’s win last Saturday over Penn State marked the 15th by the Quakers against a ranked team during the Mike Murphy coaching era.
*Doktor -- who was among 50 men named to the Tewaaraton Award Preseason Watch List, which came out on February 23 -- leads the Quakers with 16 points (6g, 10a) after posting two goals and tying a career high with five assists in Tuesday’s win over Lafayette.
*Doktor is now seventh on Penn’s all-time assist list with 69; he needs five to catch Kenneth Kirtz (1953-56) in sixth.
*Doktor also has 131 career points, and needs four to tie Corey Winkoff at 10th place on Penn’s all-time list in that category.
*Doktor’s point-scoring streak is up to 31 games dating back to the 2014 season; the streak is the seventh-longest in the nation.
*Though only playing four games so far, Penn already has 11 different goal-scorers this season; in fact, the Quakers have had at least six different goal scorers in all four games so far.
*Six different players have scored at least five goals each, led by sophomore Reilly Hupfeldt who has a team-high eight after scoring three against Penn State and two more against Lafayette. Doktor has six goals, as does sophomore Kevin McGeary.
*After not scoring in Penn’s first three games, junior Kevin Brown exploded for four on Tuesday against Lafayette with three of them coming in the opening half.
*Freshmen Alex Roesner and Simon Mathias have five goals this season, along with Doktor and sophomore Connor Keating. Two more freshmen, Joe Licciardi and Tyler Dunn, have scored twice this season.
*Inside Lacrosse named five of Penn’s freshmen among its Power 100 Freshmen of 2016 including three in the Top 20 and four in the Top 40: Noah Lejman (7th); Tyler Dunn (13th); Alex Roesner (17th); Simon Mathias (39th); and Joe Licciardi (72nd).
*That said, arguably the most ballyhooed freshman so far has been Junkin -- he has already been Ivy League Rookie of the Week twice this season, on Feb. 22 and this week. In between, he had 16 saves at Virginia and matched that Tuesday against Lafayette (while allowing just four goals for a staggering .800 save percentage).
Red (White) and Blue
Three newcomers to the Penn roster will spend the summer with the United States team at the Under-19 World Cup in Canada -- Tyler Dunn, Alex Roesner and Noah Lejman.