Friars Use Flair For Dramatic For Sweet Sixteen Berth
The Friars will kick-off against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Nov. 24 at 5:00 p.m. for the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be held on Jeffrey Field in University Park, Pa.
Big Ten Network
Sunday's Second Round vs. Penn State will be streamed live on the Big Ten Network, as part of BTN+.
Providence in the Big Dance
The Friars are making their 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It is the fourth time in the last seven seasons that Providence has been selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament.
NCAA All-Time Record
Providence is 10-7-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Friars are 7-3-1 under Head Coach Craig Stewart.
NCAA Second Round All-Time
The Friars hold a 2-4-0 record in Second Round games. Providence advanced in 2016 with a 5-4 win over Maryland on the road. Stewart is 2-1-0 in Second Round games, advancing in 2014 and 2016.
In the Polls
Providence made its season debut in the United Soccer Coaches' Top-25 on Nov. 19 with a No. 21 ranking. The Friars were receiving votes the previous week, but a runner-up finish in the BIG EAST Conference Championship helped pave the way to a spot in the poll.
Taking on the Nittany Lions
Sunday's game will be the first meeting between Providence and Penn State in men's soccer.
The Friars and Nittany Lions had one common opponent in the 2019 season. Penn State played BIG EAST foe Villanova. Providence shutout the Wildcats, 2-0, and Penn State also earned a win (1-0).
Friars in the BIG EAST Tournament
Providence hosted Marquette in a First Round game on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Friars earned their 10th shutout of the season, defeating the Golden Eagles, 3-0. Esben Wolf (Copenhagen, Denmark) scored the eventual game winner in the 29th minute off of a corner kick from Joao Serrano (Evora, Portugal). Trevor Davock (Medway, Mass.) increased the lead in the 62nd minute, finishing a Danny Griffin (Wethersfield, Conn.) rebound. Paulo Lima (Lisbon, Portugal) capped the game with a 79th minute goal.
The Friars outshot Marquette 13-5. Austin Aviza (Medway, Mass.) made two saves in the match.
Providence then went on the road to face No. 2 seed St. John's in a Semifinal match-up (Nov. 13). The Friars prevailed with a 2-1 victory. Second-half goals from Paulo Lima and Davis Smith (Amherst, Mass.) were the difference. Lima's goal game in the 50th minute off of a corner kick from Joao Serrano. Smith's came in the 87th minute, as he knocked home a rebound in front. Danny Griffin and Trevor Davock both assisted the play.
Aviza made four saves for the Friars, who outshot the Red Storm 16-10 in the match.
The Friars returned to the Championship game for the fifth time in program history. They played the No. 1 seed Georgetown in the final match on Sunday, Nov. 17. Providence fell to the Hoyas, 3-1. Tiago Mendonca (Faro, Portugal) scored the first goal of the game in the 14th minute to put the Friars up early. Esben Wolf and Joao Serrano both assisted the play. All of the Hoyas' goals came in the second half giving them the victory.
Scouting the Friars
Providence currently sits at 15-6 overall. The Friars finished BIG EAST Conference play with a 6-3 record and entered the post-season as the No. 3 seed. Lima (17 points) and Serrano (17 points) lead the Friars offensively. Serrano holds the team lead in assists (nine), while Lima leads the squad in goals (eight). Trevor Davock has five goals and six assists for 16 points. Davis Smith has 14 points on five goals and four assists. Wolf is the other Friar with double-digit points, as he has 14 on four goals and six assists.
Aviza has started all 21 games in net for the Friars. He holds a .716 save percentage and a 0.92 goals against average. The redshirt senior has made 48 saves and has eight individual shutouts.
BIG EAST Awards
Five Friars earned All-BIG EAST recognition, as announced by the league on Nov. 11. Mendonca and Serrano were named to the First Team, while Lima earned Second Team honors. Griffin and Aviza were selected for the newly-added Third Team. Providence has now had at least one First Team selection in five-consecutive seasons.
Three Friars were selected to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team. Paulo Lima, Tiago Mendonca and Esben Wolf were the honorees.
Providence has outshot opponents 342-140 this season. In 20 of 21 matches, Providence has recorded more shots than its opponent. The Friars rank sixth nationally in shots per game, averaging 17.00.
Corner Kick Success
The Friars rank 11th nationally in corner kicks per game, averaging 6.67. Providence has taken 140 total corners on the season and limited opponents to just 43.
The Friars have been successful converting on these opportunities, scoring eight goals from corner kicks this season. Twenty-two percent of Providence's goals on the year have come from corner kick plays.
Most Wins In A Single Season
Providence enters its game on Sunday with 15 wins. The Friars' win total is one victory shy of tying the program record for wins in a season (16).
Stacking Up Shutouts
As a team, Providence has 11 shutouts which is tied with their team record in a season. Aviza has nine individually and the other two are combined shutouts. The most recent shutout came against NJIT in the NCAA First Round on Nov. 21.
The Friars have only played in two overtime games this season. Both have resulted in victories. Providence defeated UConn on Oct. 8 in the 92nd minute and bested Creighton on Oct. 26 in the 98th minute. Providence has not tied a single game so far this season. The last time that happened was 2016, when Providence went 15-7.
When the Friars Score First
The Friars have seen great success when they score the opening goal of the match. They hold an 12-3 record when they get on the board first.
Sharing the Ball
Providence has three players with five or more assists on the season. Joao Serrano leads with nine and Trevor Davock and Esben Wolf has six.
Scouting the Nittany Lions
Penn State currently holds a 12-3-3 overall record and finished the Big Ten regular season at 6-1-1. The Nittany Lions made it to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament where they fell to Michigan, 1-0. On Oct. 29, Penn State defeated the defending national champions, No. 17 Maryland. They beat the Terrapins, 3-2, in overtime. In the last United Soccer Coaches' Poll they were ranked No. 13 on Nov. 19. They have been in the Top-25 for the past four weeks.
The Nittany Lions average 2.00 goals per game and have a shot on goal percentage of .422 on the season.
Who to Watch
Aaron Malloy leads the team offensively with 22 points. He has the team high in assists with six and has eight goals. Malloy was Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. Freshman Liam Butts has the team in goals with nine. He's tallied one assist on the season for 19 total points. Senior Christian Sload is the third Nittany Lion with double digit points. He has 15 on five goals and five assists.
Freshman Kris Shakes has played 10 games in net for Penn State. He holds a 0.69 goals against average and .851 save percentage. His record is 9-1-0 on the season. He has recorded four shutouts.