"This is the captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then... explode."
That quote is from the 2005 movie Serenity, which I've never heard of until I wanted to find a quote about turbulence. And I probably won't go ahead and watch that movie.
(Ed. Note: Flight was crazy, though! "Wait! What do you mean, 'roll it'?")
But I will go ahead and welcome you all to this week's edition of the Philly Phour Phocus, which is properly spelled for the occasion. In case you're just following along, we're following all four Philly teams as the season goes on and updating their chances of repping the great city in this year's Final Four. Have I mentioned that it's going to be in Philly? Well, I've basically copied and pasted this same exact paragraph for the past few weeks and so, the Final Four is in Philly this year.
Last time we left you, all four teams had a pretty good week, with just Drexel losing to Binghamton last Tuesday. How did all four teams do this week? Let's go to the Big Board and find out! This week's Philly Phour Phocus Big Board is sponsored by Manayunk. Manayunk: Home of a good amount of bars, restaurants, and plenty of hills, including The Manayunk Wall, which really isn't a wall:
|Team||2016 Overall Record (So Far)||2016 Conference Record (So Far)||Last Week's Results||This Week's Schedule|
|Drexel||4-5||0-0 (Projected Tied for 3rd in CAA)||W vs. Mercer 12-5||Sat. @ Towson|
|Penn||5-3||2-0 (Tied 1st in Ivy)||W vs. Cornell 9-6; L vs. Maryland 13-8||Sat. @ Yale|
|St. Joe's||6-2||1-0 (2nd in NEC)||W @ Hobart 13-5||Sat. @ Wagner|
|Villanova||6-2||0-0 (Projected 4th in Big East)||W vs. Fairfield 15-9; L vs. Brown 18-9||Sat. @ Marquette|
The Dragons rebounded from their midweek loss to Binghamton with a 12-5 win over Mercer on Saturday. The Dragons spit out straight fire on the Bears, scoring seven straight goals to end the first half and holding the Mercer offense scoreless for about 38 minutes. Matthew Varian had a hat-trick, while Cole Shafer and Robert Frazee each added a pair of goals. Jimmy Joe Granito made eight saves in the win. Drexel starts CAA conference play this weekend on the road against Towson. Folks...THUNDERDOME is back!
Current Big Dance Chance: 5%. It's the same as last week's chance, as Towson and UMass are in the media and USILA polls, with Hofstra receiving votes. Drexel will have to compete with Fairfield and Delaware for that final spot in the CAA Tournament. Moreover, it'll be tough to at dethrone Towson, the defending champs. But it's also THUNDERDOME so who knows what happens. Huge turbulence ahead for the next five weeks.
Hi Ivy League, Penn here. Just wanted to let you know that we're a good team that's in your conference! They made sure of that with a 9-6 win over Cornell on Saturday, their first regular season win over the Big Red in 10 years. The Quakers scored the game's first six goals, as Alex Roesner scored a hat-trick, while Tyler Dunn added two of his own. Reed Junkin made 14 saves in the game, including 10 in the second half.
The Quakers were back at it yesterday, but fell to Maryland 13-8, as the Terps exploded for 10 first half goals. Simon Mathias led the way for Penn with two goals, while Junkin made eight saves. In the second half, the Quaker offense couldn't get by the Maryland defense, as they managed only two goals in the final quarter. Penn has a huge Ivy League showdown on the road against top-ranked Yale.
Current Big Dance Chance: 15%. It's up from 10% from last week. They're making some noise in the Ivy League, and can make even more noise with a huge upset this weekend. After that, they host Brown and Harvard. Turbulence is ahead for Penn, and let's hope the Quakers can manage it nicely.
The Hawks traveled to Central New York and crushed Hobart 13-5 in a big NEC matchup, which began with a 5-0 run to start the game. Mike Rastivo recorded a hat-trick and two assists for the Hawks, while Pat Swanick, Chris Blewitt, and Hayes McGinley each had a pair of goals. TJ Jones made nine saves in the victory. A huge road win against a possible NEC contender helps their confidence in finally winning the NEC. They travel to take on a 5-5 Wagner team, whose five wins are against very poor teams, which doesn't say a ton.
Current Big Dance Chance: 65%. It's up from 60% last week. The Hobart win helps, but the big question will be how they do against Bryant in about two weeks. The Bulldogs haven't played a game since March 12, and should be very rested for NEC conference play. St. Joe's has defeated Bryant the past two regular season meetings, but haven't been able to get it done in the NEC Tournament. Does it change this year?
The basketball 'Cats made the Final Four this weekend over Kansas, and will face Oklahoma! Go Jay Wright (even though I go to Cuse and they're somehow still in it) and Arch! Meanwhile, the lacrosse 'Cats started the week with a 15-9 win at home over Fairfield. After Fairfield tied the game at one, Nova went on a 7-1 run to end the half. Devin McNamara had four goals and two assists, while Joey Froccaro had four assists, and older brother Jake had a hat-trick. Christian Cuccinello, Jack Curran, and Danny Seibel each had a pair of goals in the win.
They ended nonconference play for the regular season with a big game against Brown. It was also the 500th game in the program's history. Congrats to them. But then, this happened. Not really, but this is pretty accurate:
EXPLOSIONS! FATALITY! Brown's offense came out firing, scoring seven goals in the opening quarter, before somewhat cooling down and scoring four goals in each of the final three quarters to down the Wildcats 19-8. And one of those goals came from goaltender Jack Kelly. Not Blaze Riorden-esque, but still. Jack Curran had a pair of goals in the brutal loss. Nova starts Big East play Saturday as they travel to Wisconsin to take on Marquette. Hello Wisconsin!
Current Big Dance Chance: 70%. The loss to Brown is BRUTAL, and even though the Wildcats had a top two offense, it wasn't anywhere close to Brown's monster of an offense. I think Nova has to beat everyone in the Big East except Denver in order to get an at-large bid. Marquette is a good first test to open up league play. They haven't made that much noise this season, with their lone loss coming against Ohio State, while beating Georgetown by just a goal last week. This should be a good game.
And as always, let's dance!