Villanova Men's Lacrosse
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
7:00 pm ET
#16 Drexel Dragons (1-1) vs.
Villanova Wildcats (0-1)
Villanova controls the all-time season history against the Drexel Dragons, winning 18 of the 33 contests played. The Wildcats have squared off against their Philadelphia based rival each year since lacrosse was introduced as a varsity sport in 1981. Last year, the Dragons controlled the contest, winning 12-10 at Drexel's Vidas field.
Drexel has certainly been tested at the onset of the 2014 season. To date, they have split their opening contests against top-20 programs, losing against No. 7 Virginia and gutting out a one goal victory vs. No. 11 Albany.
Drexel returns a majority of their 2013 roster, only losing 4 starters to graduation and returning just over 75% of their letterwinners.
The Dragons, picked to finish third in the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Poll, have enjoyed a surprise scoring outburst from red-shirt freshman Cole Shafer. Through two games, Shafer has racked up 11 points on five goals and six assists.
The freshman is backed up by senior midfielder Ben Mcintosh. Mcintosh, named to the Preseason Second Team All-American roster, scored two goals in the closing minutes of the Dragons contest against Albany to break the late tie. He now has five goals on the season. Nick Trizano is the Dragons' leading goal scorer, hitting the back of the net 7 times so far this season.
Villanova's stellar defense will have its hands full in this contest.
One of the best match ups will occur at the opening face-off. Senior specialist Thomas Croonquist, winner of 22 of 24 face-offs in Villanova's upset win over No 4 Syracuse last season, will meet another qualified opponent in Drexel's junior Nick Saputo. Saputo, a CAA Preseason First-team selection, has won 66% of his face-offs through two games this season. In a game that figures to be a close struggle, these midfield battles will be crucial in determining who walks away with the win.