PHILADELPHIA - Following a disappointing loss last weekend to neighborhood rival Drexel, the Penn men’s lacrosse team is at home again but expands its perimeter by about 10 miles. Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., Villanova comes to Franklin Field to meet the Quakers in the latest installment of this city series.
Head coach Brian Voelker is anxious to put last weekend’s loss in the rear-view mirror.
“I am still not exactly sure what happened, it was that shocking,” he said, speaking of the loss to the Dragons in a game the Quakers led by three goals with 10 minutes to play. “I think a lot of factors played a part our youth, some bad luck, and them picking up their play when they needed to.
“We only play 13 games, so it is tough to see any of them slip away like that one did,” he continued. “Our goal, obviously, is to put last week behind us and focus on Villanova.”
The Quakers defeated the Wildcats last year, 10-6, and earned a 9-6 decision the last time these teams met at Franklin Field (in 2006). Villanova comes to the city off a win over Lafayette last Sunday, 9-6; prior to that, the Cats opened the season at Syracuse and were rolled by the powerful Orange, 21-6.
“We need to focus on the things we do well,” said Voelker. “We could have put some more shots on goal last weekend, force them to make more saves, and so we will focus on that this week. But it is important to note that there were some real positives from last weekend we had some younger guys really step up, I thought we put good offensive pressure on Drexel, and we had success on faceoffs. We will look to keep doing those things.”
Some notes entering Saturday’s game...
The Quakers knocked off the Wildcats last season, 10-6, thanks to two goals each from Drew Collins, J.J. Lian and Garvey Heiderman. The last time these teams played at Franklin Field, in 2006, Penn pulled out a 9-6 decision.
Penn looked like it might have its first win of 2008 sewn up last Saturday over Drexel, but the Dragons score four goals in the final 10 minutes to escape with a 9-8 win here at Franklin Field.
The Quakers got two goals apiece from junior J.J. Lian as well as freshmen Al Kohart and Corey Winkoff. Junior Craig Andrzejewski dished off three assists.
Penn’s other goalscorers last weekend were Alex Weber and Drew Collins.
At the other end, sophomore goalkeeper Chris Casey went the distance and finished with seven saves.
While Penn opened up last weekend, Villanova has already played twice this season. The Wildcats began the season at then-No. 9 Syracuse, taking a 21-6 loss, before rebounding with a 9-6 win at home last Sunday vs. Lafayette.
In the win over the Leopards, Villanova was down 4-0 to start the game before coming back to get the victory.
Jay Foley and Tim Driscoll scored three goals apiece against Lafayette, while goalkeeper Andrew DiLoreto made seven saves at the other end.
T.J. O’Donnell has been Villanova’s main faceoff man this season; he won eight of the 17 faceoffs he took last Sunday.