Sorry Penn and Drexel, but your hoops teams were *trash emoji* this year.
Welcome to the Philly Phour Phocus, which is properly spelled for the occasion. In case you couldn't tell already or from last week, we're following all four Philly teams as the season goes on and update their chances of repping the great city in this year's Final Four. Have I mentioned that it's going to be in Philly? I think I did, but to be safe, the Final Four is in Philly this year.
Last time we left you, three of the four Philly teams were preparing to play two games in a week. Let's see how they did in this week's Table, Sponsored by Northeast Philadelphia. Northeast Philadelphia: It's Aight ("alright" for you confused readers):
|Team||2016 Overall Record (So Far)||2016 Preseason Conference Finish||Last Week's Results||This Week's Schedule|
|Drexel||2-4||Tied for 3rd in CAA||L vs. Maryland 12-8; W @ Bryant 14-5||Sat. vs. St. John's|
|Penn||3-2||Tied for 5th in Ivy||W vs. Lafayette 12-6; L @ Villanova 16-8||Sat. @ Princeton|
|St. Joe's||4-2||Tied for 1st in NEC||L @ Virginia 9-7; W @ Monmouth 18-8||Sat. vs. Delaware|
|Villanova||4-1||4th in Big East||W vs. Penn 16-8||Tues. @ Bucknell|
The Dragons pulled off an incredible comeback win over St. Joe's to get their first win of the season, and had to quickly turn things around to take on Maryland last Tuesday. Drexel hung around with the Terps, but could never take the lead from last year's National Runner-Ups, as Maryland won 12-8. Junior attackman Robert Frazee led the Dragons with four goals on six shots, while fellow classmate Cole Shafer had a pair of goals to go with a pair of assists. Drexel tied the game up at five from a goal by Matthew Varian, but that was the closest that they ever got.
However, the Dragons shook off the loss and traveled to the smallest (and one of the better looking) states in the country in Rhode Island to take on Bryant. Drexel buried the Bulldogs 14-5. Shafer recorded a hat-trick, while Frazee, Marshal King, Jacob O'Donnell, and Joe Rainoldi all had a pair of goals in the process. The Drexel defense forced Bryant to commit 20 turnovers, and goaltender Jimmy Joe Granito made nine saves on the day. The Dragons have St. John's this week.
Current Big Dance Chance: 7%. There's a glimmer of hope!
The Quakers also had a two-game week, first taking on and beating Lafayette 12-6. Kevin Brown led the way with four goals, while Nick Doktor successfully tore apart the Leopards with two goals and five assists. Freshman keeper Reed Junkin made 16 saves in the win.
Penn then went to the Main Line to take on Villanova, where it was a 4-4 tie at the half. However, Nova scored six goals each in the third and fourth quarters to hand the Quakers a 16-8 loss. Reilly Hupfeldt scored three goals for Penn, while
Doktor Nick Nick Doktor had a goal and four assists. Junkin made 13 saves, but gave up 15 goals in the process. Penn opens Ivy League play on Saturday as they travel to New Jersey to take on Princeton.
Current Big Dance Chance: 4%. Lafayette win doesn't do a whole lot, but a loss to Nova might hurt their chances of a possible at-large birth. Still need to get that AQ if they want to be in.
St. Joe's: In the NCAA Basketball Tournament! Not yet in the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament because it's still too early. The Hawks played two games this week, both of which were on the road.
Their first game was in Charlottesville against Virginia, which was a tight 9-7 loss. The Hawks had a 7-5 lead with 12:34 left in the game before the Wahoos scored four straight goals, including two from UVA freshman Phil Poquie, who went to the Haverford School on the Main Line. Kevin Forster scored two goals for the Hawks, while five others recorded goals. T.J. Jones made 10 saves, but St. Joe's committed five turnovers in the final quarter.
SJU then traveled to Monmouth on Saturday in a battle of Hawks, as the Philly Hawks took down the Jersey Hawks 18-8. St. Joe's used an 11-2 first half to cruise past Monmouth. Mike Rastivo scored four goals on 10 shots, while Hayes McGinley and Forster scored hat-tricks, and Kevin Reidinger had a pair of goals. Jones made six saves and gave up only four goals in a little over 50 minutes of work. St. Joe's takes on Delaware this week.
Current Big Dance Chance: 50%. It's five percent lower than last week, because Mount St. Mary's and Bryant are looking like contenders in the NEC. Both teams have really good wins (Georgetown and Harvard, respectively), while St. Joe's could have gotten that big win if they finished off Virginia last week. So far, their best win is probably St. John's, who's 1-6 overall. Yikes.
Villanova: Also in the NCAA Basketball Tournament and not yet in the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament! Unlike the other three Philly teams, they only had one game, which was against Penn. You already know that the Wildcats won 16-8 after being tied at four entering halftime. But what you might not know is that Nova's Jake Froccaro had SEVEN goals and his brother Joey Froccaro had a hat-trick. Goaltender Dan Willis made six saves, as the Nova defense held Penn to single-digits for the first time all season. But how about that Nova offense! The 'Cats are second in the nation in scoring offense with 16.8 goals per game, moreover, Jake Froccaro is first in the nation in goals per game (5.2), second in the nation in points per game (6.6), and second in the nation in man-up goals (6). Can he keep this pace up and help Nova compete in the Big East?
The Wildcats have one game on tap this week, a Tuesday showdown against Bucknell, which should be a good midweek game.
Current Big Dance Chance: 70%. The Big East is beginning to look like it'll be a two-team race between Denver and Nova. Marquette is 4-1 this season, but they really haven't proven anything yet, with the exception of maybe a 7-2 win against Richmond early in the season. Georgetown has been a surprising dud as well. If the 'Cats can keep it up, they'll be in May Madness.
Now, in honor of the Big Dance, let's dance!