The Villanova Wildcats became the 18th Division I lacrosse team, and the second of the Philly Phour teams, to announce their 2017 regular season schedule. The Wildcats finished last season with a 9-5 overall record, and a 3-2 mark in Big East play. Villanova was ranked fifth in the USILA poll at the end of March, which was their best ranking in program history. Let’s dive into this schedule.
The Wildcats open up 2017 at home for the first three games of the season, and four of their first five. Their season opener is February 11 against Monmouth. A week later, the Wildcats take on defending Ivy League champion Yale on the 18th in what will be a big early season matchup in college lacrosse. ‘Nova hosts Penn State on the 25th before making a short trip to Philly to take on Drexel on February 28.
March opens up at home for the Wildcats, as the team will host Delaware on the 4th. There’s a three day turnaround for the team, as they make the trip to Providence, Rhode Island to play Dylan Molloy and the Brown Bears. The Brown game starts a tough six-game stretch, which includes four NCAA Tournament teams (two of them advancing to Championship Weekend) and only two home games. One of those home games occurs March 14th against a Bucknell team that could be a surprise pick to make the NCAA Tournament this year. Four days later, the ‘Cats are in College Park, Maryland to take on the Terrapins. The team wraps up March in Connecticut to take on Fairfield on the 25th before Big East play begins in April.
The Big East slate is exactly the same as it was last year, with the venues just switching. The Big East opener is at home against Marquette on April 1. The Golden Eagles defeated the Wildcats in both meetings last season, including a Big East semifinal showdown in Denver. ‘Nova wraps up that six-game stretch of tough games in Colorado against the Denver Pioneers on April 8. Villanova’s final three games should be wins, like they were last year. ‘Nova’s at Georgetown on the 15th, followed by their home finale against St. John’s on the 22nd, before wrapping up the regular season back in Providence, this time against the Providence Friars, on April 29.
The team’s five leading scorers from a year ago, including Jake Froccaro, Devin McNamara, and Jack Curran, are back for another season. They also bring in freshman Jack Kinnear from Calvert Hall at attack. Danny Sweeney returns on defense, along with both goaltenders that played most of last season in senior Dan Willis and sophomore Nick Testa. It’ll be interesting to see how the two perform and if ‘Nova head coach Michael Corrado decides to run a two goalie system for games.
Here’s a list of who’s released their schedules so far:
Hofstra, St. Joe’s, Towson, and UMass Lowell