By Mike Camarda
Special to Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/3/10
Sorry big brother, this time I got the last laugh.
That may have been what Villanova sophomore long stick midfielder Chris Creighton told Notre Dame senior defenseman Mike Creighton after his host Wildcats stunned the Fighting Irish, 9-8, Saturday before a sun-splashed crown of 1,293.
The Creighton brothers, graduates of Malvern Prep, played key roles for their teams in the Big East thriller. But it was the younger Creighton who made a key pass that helped spark a four-goal rally that lifted No. 17 Villanova (6-3) to its first Big East win and dropped the No. 18 Irish (5-4) to 0-2.
Mike Creighton (three groundballs, three caused turnovers) intercepted a pass on defense and streaked down the field to score a goal early in the final period. The man-down goal by the Notre Dame captain really keyed a 5-0 run by the Irish that erased a 5-3 deficit.
Chris Creighton, however, had other plans. Not to be outdone by his brother’s game changing play, Chris took charge on a face-off picking up a ground ball and fed Kevin Cunningham (three goals) for a key tally with 7:16 left.
This goal, coming only 14 seconds after Notre Dame had taken a seemingly insurmountable three-goal lead, changed the momentum in Villanova’s favor. Until the younger Creighton’s play Villanova was getting dominated at the face-off X by Notre Dame, losing nine out of 11 in the first three quarters.
Villanova went on to win six out nine draws in the final period. Mark Scioscia scored to make it 8-7 and Paul Webber fired in the game-tying and game-winning goals to give his team redemption after a 20-6 loss to Syracuse in its Big East opener.
Long stick midfielder Brian Karalunas (four caused turnovers, three groundballs) and Bryan McCartney (Archbishop Wood) led the Villanova defense. McCartney (four groundballs, two caused turnovers) was a disruptive force all afternoon, causing two turnovers and picking up four groundballs.
“It’s an awesome win for us,” said Karalunas. “We take pride in all our home wins, but this is really special to us with it being our first BIG EAST win and it coming on our turf in our stadium.”
Freshman goalie Billy Hurley made nine saves for the ‘Cats and Matt Bell had a goal and two assists. Zach Brenneman led Notre Dame with two goals and two assists.