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Villanova Lacrosse Preview: No. 12 Villanova vs. Penn

This Saturday, March 10th, the Villanova men's lacrosse team tries to rebound from their 1st loss of the season, as they travel to Franklin Field to take on the University of Pennsylvania Quakers at 3PM. Villanova enters the game at 3-1 on the season after last weekend's loss to Delaware, while Penn sports a 1-2 overall record. The Quakers lost their first 2 games of the season, but recently, they upset #8 North Carolina in Philly.

Even though both squads made the NCAA Tournament last year, the teams are quite different in the 2012 campaign. The Wildcats have a lot of veteran experience, as juniors and seniors account for 86% of the offensive output. Most notably, junior Will Castertano leads Nova with 16 points, while seniors CJ Small and Kevin Cunningham have tallied 14 points each. On the offensive end for a young Penn team, Dan Savage and John Conneely are the top point getters, with Savage recording 9 points and Conneely notching 8 points through 3 games.

On the other end of the field, Chris Creighton, Ryan McDonagh, Chris Conroy, and netminder Dan Gutierrez are allowing just over 10 goals a game for the Cats. Gutierrez has posted a stellar 54.4% save percentage thus far. Countering Gutierrez in the cage is sophomore Brian Feeney for the Quakers. Feeney has only saved 45.1% of shots seen this year, and overall, the defense is allowing 9.33 goals per game.

It's only early March, but this is a large game for Villanova. After Penn on Saturday, the Cats play a string of 5 straight games against quality opponents. They host Princeton on March 14th, then travel to Maryland, Syracuse, and Penn State on consecutive weekends before returning home to play Georgetown on April 4th.