March 30, 2015
Villanova, Pa. –
With their commanding 10-6 victory over Marquette in their conference-season opener on Saturday, the Wildcats now lead the BIG EAST field with the longest winning-streak tallying four victories in a row. While effective and decisive shooting has been a huge part of the recent success for Villanova, the least talked about but maybe the most important component for the Wildcats have been a gutsy and hard-working defense.
The Nova defense has not had an easy time of it either. Loosing senior leader and co-captain Taylor Mangione to an injury early in the season against Delaware, Coach Julie Young has had to look to her younger players to step up and fill the space.
Sophomore Sam Scarfogliero has done just that. After only starting about half of the games during the 2014 campaign, Scarfogliero has already picked up some pretty significant stats leading Villanova in ground balls (23) and caused turnovers (20). Averaging 2.00 caused turnover per game puts Scarfolgliero in the top-15 nationally and the second best place in the conference.
Sam sat down with Nova Nation to talk about where the team is going, what she wants to accomplish and what exactly is going on with her hair on game days.
Q: The recent triple overtime win against High Point was a huge win for the Nova defense who kept the Panthers from connecting on five free position shots in the second half. With the loss of key players recently, what do you think has been the reason for the success as of late?
A: Losing two players on defense has allowed for our bench to step up. Being an overall young and new defensive unit has been cause for some major changes recently but we have all stepped up to cause turnovers and get the job done on defense.
Q. How is the team feeling and what are you looking forward to the most in conference play?
A: Our team has finally gotten into a groove going into BIG EAST play. The whole team is on the same page now and our huge wins against Delaware and High Point have given us the confidence we need as we go into the second half of our season. This year we are looking forward to finally making a name for our program. Last year we were very close to making it to the BIG EAST tournament but this year we are all confident that we have the skills to make it there for the first time in program history.
Q: This being your second year with Villanova, what are the biggest differences between your freshman and your sophomore year so far?
A: Last year was a hard transition for me. I was not aware of how different the level of play was when transitioning from high school to college. I definitely learned a lot from the seniors last year which gave me the confidence to work hard and improve my game this summer so I could be an impact player for our 2015 season.
Q: Do you have any weird pregame rituals? You seem to be known for some pretty crazy hair styles… want to tell us a little bit about that?
A: I didn’t have any particular rituals before games until our Delaware game this season. I tried out the power buns for the first time and then we beat a ranked opponent. I didn’t wear them for our next game and we lost so now I’ve worn them for every game since then and we’ve been on a winning streak.
Q: What do you, specifically, want to accomplish this season?
A: This season I want to make history with our program and make it to the BIG EAST tournament. We have a very talented team this year and I have confidence that we can go far as long as we play up to our potential.
Q: If there is one thing you could say to future Wildcats about the journey of becoming a division I athlete, what would you say and why?
A: If I could tell future wildcats one thing about my journey so far I would tell them to enjoy every moment, work as hard as you can and never take your teammates for granted. There is nothing like being on a team and it’s not an opportunity that everyone has. Lacrosse had made my experience at Villanova unlike any one else’s college experience and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.