(Paul Webber - via Villanova.com)
On Saturday night at Gaelic Park in New York, the underdog Manhattan Jaspers went toe-to-toe with the #13 Villanova Wildcats, although the final score indicates otherwise. It was a back and forth affair all the way through the 3rd quarter, as a 7-6 Villanova lead very much hung in the balance. The Jaspers had a shocking upset on their mind, but the Cats scored the last 7 goals of the game, resulting in a final score of 14-6.
The Long Island natives for each squad really stood out, with Salvatore Spatarella (Rocky Point, N.Y.) notching 2 goals and 2 assists on the day for Manhattan, while Mike Brennan (Manhasset, N.Y.) put up 3 goals and 1 assist and Paul Webber (Manhasset, N.Y.) had a game-high 4 tallies for the Cats. With the loss, the Jaspers fall to 4-6 on the year. For Villanova, the win improves their record to 7-3 on the year, with a very favorable schedule to end the season. The rest of the schedule is as follows for the Wildcats:
- April 17th-Home vs. St. John's at 7pm
- April 25th-Away vs. Rutgers at 1pm
- May 1st-Away vs. Providence at 2pm
- May 8th-Home vs. Georgetown at 7pm
In order to make the 16 team NCAA tournament, Villanova likely will need to win out. The newly formed Big East conference does not have a postseason conference tournament like some other conferences, so the automatic bid goes to the winner of the regular season. Syracuse has not lost a conference game, and they probably won't, so the only chance for the Cats is an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Thus, any loss in the last 4 games probably will keep Villanova on the outside looking in when the committee announces the field.