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The Friars will kick off against the Delaware Blue Hens on Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. for the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be held at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium.
FOX SPORTS GO
Thursday’s First Round game vs. Delaware will be streamed live on Fox Sports Go. The stream can be accessed online at foxsportsgo.com
Providence in the Big Dance
The Friars are making their ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It is also the third time in the last four seasons that Providence has been selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament.
NCAA All-Time Record
Providence is 6-6-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games. The Friars are 3-2-1 under Craig Stewart.
NCAA First Round All-Time
The Friars are 3-2-1 in First Round games. Providence advanced in penalty kicks at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. Stewart is 0-0-1 in First Round games, advancing in the tie and securing a bye in 2014.
Taking on the Blue Hens
Providence and Delaware have never played each other in program history.
The Friars and Blue Hens had two common opponents in the 2016 season. Delaware played two BIG EAST teams, Villanova and Seton Hall. Providence defeated Villanova, 3-1, while the Blue Hens lost, 2-1. Delaware defeated Seton Hall, 3-1, and Providence also defeated the Pirates, 1-0.
Providence in the Regular Season
The Friars finished the regular season with a 12-5 mark and 7-2 BIG EAST record. Providence won eight-consecutive matches, including seven straight BIG EAST games to capture the regular season title.
Regular Season Champions
For the first time in program history, the Friars claimed the BIG EAST regular season title. Providence tied a program record of seven conference wins (2006).
Recapping the BIG EAST Semifinal
Then-No. 22 Providence faced the then-No. 24 Creighton Bluejays in the BIG EAST Semifinal game at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium on Nov. 10. The Friars were defeated by the Bluejays, 2-1.
The Friars’ offense started from the opening touch, when Julian Gressel nearly scored from a free kick just outside the box that Creighton’s goalkeeper Alex Kapp got a hand on.
In the seventh minute Providence took the lead, 1-0, by way of Danny Griffin after Steven Kilday dribbled along the end line and fed Griffin at the top of the box for his sixth goal of his rookie season.
In the 31st minute, the Bluejays tied the game at 1-1 when Ricky Lopez-Espin. Ten minutes later, Creighton took the lead off of a goal from Myles Englis.
Providence pressured offensively for the remainder of the game, finishing the game with 10 shots on goal. The Friars were unable to net the equalizer and their eight-game winning streak ended.
Providence and Creighton have met in the BIG EAST Semifinal for the past four consecutive seasons.
Julian Gressel leads the Friars with 27 points from 11 goals and five assists. The senior captain has recorded five game-winning goals, including the goal that lifted the Friars past St. John’s, 1-0, on Nov. 3 to give the Friars’ their first regular season title. Gressel was named BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, with 16 BIG EAST points from six goals and four assists.
Gressel boasts 74 career points in his four seasons at Providence, pushing him into the top ranks of the Friars all-time career points leaders. In 78 games played, Gressel holds the second all-time spot with 25 goals and 24 assists.
Miller in Goal
Colin Miller holds an 11-1 record in his debut season. The red shirt-sophomore was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week one time (Nov. 7) and Co-Goalkeeper of the Year (Nov. 5). Miller ranks fifth in the nation in goals against average (0.495 ). In save percentage Miller holds the second spot (.880). The goalkeeper has posted seven shutouts in his 12 games played in 2016.
BIG EAST Award Winners
Providence claimed three major BIG EAST Awards. Gressel was named Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Colin Miller was named Co-Goalkeeper of the Year and Craig Stewart and his staff were named Coaching Staff of the Year. Along with Gressel and Miller, Mark Jecewicz was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Liam Wilson, Joao Serrano, and Danny Griffin all earned spots on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. The last time Providence had six athletes selected to an All-BIG EAST team was in 2014, with five Second Team selections and one All-Freshman selection.
Providence’s starting lineup consists of eight underclassmen, including four sophomores and four freshmen. Five freshmen have seen the pitch in 2016 and four have contributed on the score-sheet with at least one goal. Danny Griffin has scored six times and five have served as game-winning tallies. Braden Kline scored in his first minute of collegiate play on Sept. 2. Alex DaCosta and Liam Wilson have also found the back of the net once this season.
By Unanimous Selection
With the Friars’ six All-BIG EAST Selections, three were selected unanimously. Gressel’s selection to the First Team and Joao Serrano and Danny Griffin’s selection to the All-Freshman Team were all unanimous. The Coaching Staff was also selected unanimously.
In the Polls
Providence made their NSCAA Poll debut in Week 10 (Oct. 31) after defeating then-No. 18 Creighton, 1-0, in Omaha, Neb. The Friars moved up three spots in Week 11 (Nov. 8) to No. 22. In the Week 12 (Nov. 15) poll, the Friars received 26 votes.
Three Friars have received multiple BIG EAST Weekly Honors in 2016. Griffin was selected Freshman of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal against Georgia State in the R.I. Captial City Classic. Miller was named Goalkeeper of the Week on Nov. 7 after posting his seventh shutout and lead the Friars to their first BIG EAST Regular Season title. Gressel has been named Offensive Player of the Week three times (Aug. 29, Oct. 10, Oct. 31). Gressel has also been named to the Weekly Honor Roll three times, while Miller and Griffin have each been named once.
Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team selections Dominik Machado and Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Mac Steeves have missed the 2016 season due to injuries. Tiago Mendonca and Klisman Sousa have also sustained injuries. All four are expected to return in 2017.
Scouting the Blue Hens
The Blue Hens received an automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament after winning the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Delaware defeated William & Mary (2-1) on Nov. 13 to claim the CAA title and the bid to the Big Dance.
Delaware travels to Providence, R.I. with a 12-7-1 overall record and 4-4-1 road record. The Blue Hens open the game with a two-game win streak. Delaware kicked off the 2016 season with a four game win streak without conceding a goal. Since then, the Blue Hens have allowed 22 goals against.
Delaware has played two games against ranked opponents: then-No. 19 Virgina Tech defeated the Blue Hens, 2-0 (Sept. 20) and then-No. 1 Maryland defeated the Blue Hens, 3-2, in the second overtime on Oct. 25.
The Blue Hens have been shut out only two times in the 2016 season.
Blue Hens to Watch
Delaware is led by Guillermo Delgado who owns 32 points in the 2016 season with 12 goals and eight assists. Delgado was named the CAA Player of the Year for the second time in his career. Fede Prieto is second among his teammates with 14 points from seven goals.
Six other Blue Hens have recorded at least eight points in the 2016 season and 12 total Blue Hens have recorded at least one point.
Todd Morton has played the majority of minutes in goal for Delaware (1811:42), posting a 1.09 goals against average and .753 save percentage. Morton has recorded seven shutouts in 20 games played and has posted 67 saves in 2016.
Delgado, Morton, Ben Sampson, and Thomas de Villardi were all named to the CAA First Team.
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