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Game preview: Drexel men host Villanova today in key early-season Philly showdown

Tuesday, 1st March 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/1/11
From Press Releases

The Villanova men’s lacrosse team (1-1, 0-0 BIG EAST) take on the first mid-week matchup on the season when they travel to Philadelphia rival Drexel (Ranked No. 16) this afternoon. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Vidas Field.

Villanova this Season: Villanova enters Tuesday’s contest with an even 1-1 record after falling to Bucknell, 10-8, on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats claimed their opening win of the season in a close 9-8 victory over Lehigh on VU’s home turf.

Villanova’s Last Outing:
Villanova fell to Bucknell, 10-8, on Saturday afternoon at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in Lewisburg, Pa. Junior Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y./Kellenberg) led the offensive effort with a hat trick and one assist, while sophomore Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y./Salisbury) contributed one goal and two dishes in the loss.
‘Nova Offense: Eight different players have found the back of the net for Villanova thus far, with Cunningham (5g, 3a, 8pts), Casertano (3g, 3a, 6pts) and sophomore Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J./Delbarton) (1g, 3a, 4pts) leading the effort.

Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md./St. Mary’s), Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md./Boys’ Latin), Max Hart (Bethesda, Md./Georgetown Prep), CJ Burke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) and Chris Aitken (Haverford, Pa./Haverford) have also contributed in Villanova’s two games this season.

‘Nova Defense: Sophomore goalkeeper Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J./Delbarton) and the Wildcat defense have faced 57 shots through two games. Playing all 120 minutes in cage, Hurley posts a 9.00 goals against average and a .455 save percentage.

Senior Brian Karalunas (Dewitt, N.Y./Jamesville Dewitt) continues to be a dominate force for VU, tallying nine caused turnovers and seven ground balls, including five takeaways and four ground balls versus Bucknell. Classmate T.J. O’Donnell (Randolph, N.J./Delbarton) leads the team with eight ground balls, while juniors Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa./Malvern Prep), Ryan McDonagh (Huntington, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) and senior Chris Ficke (Madison, N.J./Delbarton) have been the starters on close defense.

Drexel’s Last Outing: The Dragons (1-1, 0-0 CAA) posted a 14-7 victory over Albany on Saturday in their first home game of the season at Vidas Field. Keeper Mark Manos made 14 saves and faced 26 shots in the outing while Robert Church led the Drexel offense with three goals and three assists. The Dragons trailed 4-1 in the first period but went on to outscore Albany 13-3 for the duration of the contest.

Drexel this Season: Drexel put a mark in the win column with the 14-7 victory over Albany on Saturday, but fell in their first game of the season versus No. 2 Virginia, 12-9, in Charlottesville, Va.

Dragon Offense: Robert Church leads the team with four goals and four assists on the season after tallying a hat trick and one assists versus Albany, while Scott Perri also has four goals and three dishes after two games. Chris Farquhar, Brendan Glynn, and Nick Trizano have also contributed this season.
Quaker Defense: In 120 minutes, junior Mark Manos has posted a 1-1 record and made 33 saves after facing No. 2 Virginia and Albany. The keeper has seen 73 shots and allowed 19 goals, posting a .452 save percentage and 9.50 goals against average.

Last Time vs. the Dragons (3/24/10): Paul Webber had four goals while six other players netted scores to raise the Wildcats over No.11 Drexel, 10-8, at Villanova Stadium. The win marked the second consecutive game Villanova had defeated a former CAA conference rival and top-20 team in the national rankings.

Defensively, Brian Karalunas led the Wildcats with five caused turnovers and six ground balls while T.J. O’Donnell, Bryan McCartney and Chris Ficke each contributed with two gb’s each. Keeper Billy Hurley captured the second win of his career, making 11 saves in the victory.

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