Breaking a three-game winless streak with a win over Columbia on Tuesday, the men’s soccer team welcomes the Villanova Wildcats to Owen T. Carroll Field on Saturday.
The Pirates enter the game with a record of 4-3-2, 0-1-0 in the Big East.
Villanova holds a 3-4-2 overall record, 0-1-0 in the conference.
“The Big East is a grind on the physical athletes,” head coach Manfred Schellscheidt said. “Our team is growing up and knowing how to play against hard teams that challenge every 50-50 ball.”
Villanova won their last game against St. Joseph’s 3-0 breaking a stretch where the Wildcats were winless in six straight games.
Before the St. Joseph’s game, Villanova opened Big East play with a 2-0 loss to Georgetown. Against the Hoyas the Wildcats allowed two first half goals and were unable to even the game.
The Hall enters the game off a 1-0 win against Columbia on Tuesday after losing their Big East opener on the road to DePaul, 2-1.
Leading the Pirates on offense is sophomore Max Garcia, and has four goals on the season, and senior Giovanni Zammiello, ranking second on the team with two goals and an assist.
“They are the ones that need to lead the way and maybe put a little more on their shoulders,” Schellscheidt said.
In net for the Pirates will most likely be freshman Mario DeClerico in replacement of sophomore Anthony Reichwaldt.
Reichwaldt is still out due to a concussion he suffered against St. Peter’s and has not been cleared to play at press time.
In three games, DeClerico has allowed only two goals while recording 14 saves and two shutouts, including one against No. 1 Maryland.
“(Sophomore Kevin) Bonder was not as ready as we felt he was,” Schellscheidt said. “In training with everyone working out, we felt that Mario was the guy.”
Villanova has struggled scoring this season, averaging only a goal a game.
Scoring for the Wildcats has been freshman Aaron Dennis with four goals and junior Emerson Lawrence with three.
The projected goalkeeper for Villanova is senior John Fogarty who has played all but 10 mintues in goal for the Wildcats. Fogarty has a .85 goals against average and has recorded 38 saves and three shutouts.
“We have to win, especially at home,” Schellscheidt said. “During the grind of the Big East, you need to win the home games.”
After the Wildcats, the Hall will stay home to host the Princeton Tigers on Tuesday.
The Tigers enter the match-up with a 1-5-1 record and on a three game losing streak.
This season, Princeton has been outscored 12-6 in six games despite outshooting opponents 96-88.
Four players are tied atop the Tigers score sheet with one goal a piece with senior Antione Hoppenot leading the scoring with two assists to go along with a goal.
Man Gallin has been the main goalkeeper for the Tigers, playing all but three minutes on the season, allowing 1.42 goals per game and making 21 saves.
Princeton is the last non-conference game of the season for the Pirates.
Stephen Valenti can be reached at email@example.com.