After a thrilling last second win over the Penn Quakers in downtown Philly this past Saturday, the #10 Villanova Wildcats have no time to relish the victory, as the #16 Princeton Tigers head to Villanova Stadium for a Tuesday night showdown. The Cats enter the game with 4-1 record, while Princeton sports a .500 record at 2-2. After 2 wins to start the season over Hofstra and Manhattan, the Tigers have lost consecutive affairs to Johns Hopkins and North Carolina.
Each squad excels in a certain area of the field; for Nova, it's the offensive end with their 12.2 goals per game average and an astounding 64.5% shooting percentage. Countering the Villanova offense will be Princeton's stalwart defense. The Tigers have one of the best goalies in the nation in senior Tyler Fiorito. Although he has struggled this year, he is due for a breakout game. Long sticks Chad Wiedmaier and John Cunningham are experienced veterans who have played in big games. Their matchups vs. Kevin Cunningham, Will Castertano, Jack Rice, and CJ Small for Nova may prove to be the deciding factor.
On the offensive side of the ball for Princeton, Tom Schreiber is a premier midfielder, as he leads the squad with 18 points through 4 games. Nova's defense has been suspect at times this year, so it will be important for them to limit Schreiber's touches in front of goalie Dan Gutierrez. Tucker Shanley and Alex Capretta also are viable scoring options for Princeton.
I have seen Princeton play three times this year; every game except the Manhattan contest. After a 4-8 season last year, the Tigers are certainly better than that in the 2012 campaign, as their disappointing season was largely a result of numerous injuries. With that said, Schreiber is the key cog; contain him and take smart shots against Fiorito and the Cats should have a good chance to notch their 5th victory of the season.