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Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Villanova

We’re breaking down each and every NCAA D1 team one by one to get prepped for the rapidly approaching season. Welcome back to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We move another spot down the list and the Villanova Will D. Cats (great mascot), located in Radnor Township, PA, are up for Preview!

Villanova went 8-7 last year, and in their 15 games, they played nine of them against Top 20 ranked teams, going 4-5 against that same group. They proved they could compete with anyone, but were also inconsistent at times, and lost three straight to Notre Dame, Providence, and Syracuse to end their campaign.

2013 sees Villanova take on an equally tough schedule. Big East games against Syracuse, Notre Dame, St. John’s, Providence, Georgetown and Rutgers obviously loom large on the Wildcats schedule, but so do out of conference games against Lehigh, Drexel, Delaware, Princeton, Penn, Maryland, and Penn State. There isn’t a single cupcake game on ‘Nova’s entire 2013 slate.

Kevin Cunningham is playing in the pros now, but Will Casertano returns on attack. He is joined by returning attackmen Jack Rice and Nick Doherty, as well as Kevin O’Neill and Max Hart in the midfield, but other than that, a lot of Nova’s goal scoring for 2012 is gone or graduated. Those five players are the only returning guys who put up at least 10 points last year. Since Villanova has a strong attack line, new players will need to emerge from the midfield, and Nova has a solid group of guys to pick from there.

Dan Gutierrez started every game last year in goal, and he is gone. Four players are on the roster as keepers, but I have no lead on who will be the starter. Chris Conroy and Chris Piccirilli lead the defense, which will be a bit young, and lacks depth. With only 7 close defenders and 3 LSMs, injuries could be a concern, but John LoCasio provides a nice spark at the LSM position.

Villanova has a solid core group of players returning, and they will certainly be battle tested all year long. There are some concerns in goal and with the 4th pole right now, as well as in the midfield, but most of the pieces are there for the Will D. Cats to have another good year. Double digit wins will be tough, but another winning season is not out of the range of possibility.

Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany,Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mercer, Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s, Navy, UNC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UPenn, Penn State, Princeton, Providence, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Rutgers, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s, Siena, Stony Brook, Syracuse, Towson, UMBC, and Vermont!