PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's men's soccer squad (2-2-2, 1-0-0 Soccer Six) will close out its three-match road stretch in Philadelphia Soccer Six action at Villanova (4-3-0, 0-0-0 Soccer Six) this Tuesday, September 19. Kickoff at the Higgins Soccer Complex in Villanova, Pa. is slated for 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday’s match will mark the 42nd all-time meeting between Saint Joseph’s and Villanova. The Wildcats own a 21-17-3 all-time series advantage. After a pair of back-to-back 3-0 losses to the Wildcats in 2010 and 2011, Saint Joseph’s played to a scoreless draw last season; current senior goalkeeper Greg O'Connell made six saves while the defensive efforts of current senior midfielder Matt Crawford, current senior defenders Kevin Lockhart and Ben Zambetti, and current junior defender Eddie McCusker stifled the Wildcats’ offense. SJU’s last win over Villanova came in the form of a 1-0 victory on September 4, 2002.
The Hawks are coming off of a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss at Sacred Heart last Tuesday. Freshman midfielder Aidan Watkins scored his first collegiate goal in the first half and O'Connell matched a season-high seven saves, but the Pioneers scored the late equalizer (89') and match-winner (94') to defeat the Crimson and Gray. SJU has gone into overtime in four of its last five matches.
Crawford has scored five of SJU's seven goals this fall, while O'Connell (2-2-1) sports a 0.85 goals against average and .857 save percentage in 421:08. Zambetti, McCusker, freshman defender Daniel Morales and Watkins have played all 586 minutes through SJU's first six matches.
Villanova started the season 0-2 with losses to UVA (3-2 2OT) and Temple (1-0) but has won four of its last five with wins over UMBC (5-2) and Delaware (2-1), a 2-1 loss to Delaware, and wins over Loyola Maryland (1-0) and Rider (2-0). Theo Quartey (3g, 2a) and Andreas Bartosinski (3g) lead the Wildcats in scoring while Will Steiner (4-3-0) sports a 1.22 goals against average and .757 save percentage in 661:48.
The Wildcats were predicted to finish fourth of 10 teams in the Big East Preseason Poll. Villanova finished 10-8-3 and 5-3-1 in the Big East last fall.
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