Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/8/11
From Press Releases and Staff Reports
A throng of 1,392 came out to frigid Villanova Stadium tonight to see the host Wildcats rout Penn State, 17-5, in a non-conference men’s lacrosse game.
The 20th-ranked Wildcats jumped out early and led 10-2 at halftime. They improved to 4-1. Penn State fell to 1-3.
The crowd was anxious to see the new-look Nittany Lions, coached by first-year mentor and former Cornell coach Jeff Tambroni. The game served as a homecoming for 17 members of the Penn State team that played high school lacrosse in Philly.
C.J. Small led Villanova with four goals, while Kevin Cunningham added three. The Wildcats defense also was air-tight behind a group of Chris Creighton (Malvern Prep), Chris Ficke and Ryan McDonagh as well as LSM Brian Karalunas (six groundballs) and goalie Billy Hurley (eight saves).
“Tonight was a great win for us and we played our most complete game of lacrosse that we’ve had all season,” xsaid Villanova coach Michael Corrado. “C.J. Small had a great game, Cunningham was there, Nolan Vihlen was great at face-off, it really was an all-around effort. We took a lot of high percentage shots that really made the difference for us.”
Penn State freshman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown East) had a goal and three assists. Matt Mackrides (Malvern Prep) and Colton Vosburgh (Unionville) each scored once and Jack Forster (La Salle), who recently returned after missing the early part of the season while recovering from multiple knee surgeries, also scored.
Senior captain Matt Bernier (Malvern Prep) led the Penn State defense with eight ground balls and freshman goalie Austin Kaut (Sporingfield-Delco) made 18 saves.
Villanova jumped out to an early four-goal lead, shutting down the Nittany Lions while finding the net early against Penn State. Michael Vigilante scored less than a minute into the game and Nick Doherty took a Matt Bell pass at the 12:52 mark to give the Wildcats a cushion. Will Casertano scored two minutes later and Small found the net at the 5:53 mark to round out the first period scoring with ‘Nova up 4-0.
The Wildcats continued their offensive pressure in the second period, scoring two goals in the first two minutes. Cunningham scored a man-up goal at the 14:45 mark and Vigilante scored his second of the game a minute later to put Villanova up 6-0.
Penn State got on the board off the stick of Vosburgh, off an assist from Nick Dolik with 12:03 on the clock. But Villanova reeled off two more goals to extend their lead.
Castertano scored at the 11:05 mark and Small scored again at the 10:06 mark to put Villanova up 8-1. Penn State got a lift at the 4:14 mark when junior Forster found the net off a Sturgis assist with 4:14 on the clock. The goal was Forster’s first in over a year after missing last season. Villanova closed out first half scoring getting a goal from Jack Rice with 1:12 left and a Bell goal with just a second on the clock to carry a 10-2 lead into the halftime break.
Penn State scored the first goal of the second half, getting a Mackrides goal off a Sturgis assist just over two minutes into the third period. Sturgis then scored a solo goal at the 7:34 mark to push Penn State to within six, 10-4, but Villanova’s Small found the back of the net with 5:58 left in the period to give Villanova an 11-4 lead.
A furious third period continued with Penn State’s Billy Gribbin scoring off yet another Sturgis assist to cut the VU lead to 11-5. But the Wildcats scored two quick goals to move back out to a 13-5 lead (Rice and Cunningham scored less than a minute apart at 3:39 and 2:56) at the end of the period.
Wildcat Cunningham scored two-plus minutes into the fourth period to put VU up 14-5 and then Bell and Small added two more before the 7:30 mark to put Villanova up 16-5. Kevin O’Neil added one more Villanova goal as the game wound down to give the Wildcats the 17-5 win.
Goalie Kaut faced daunting offensive pressure in the form of 42 Villanova shots. Penn State had 24 shots. The Wildcats claimed a 38-24 ground ball advantage and won 18 of 23 face-offs.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 17, Villanova 5
1st: VU 14:19 (Vigilante), VU 12:52 (Doherty, Bell), VU 10:54 (Casertano), VU 5:53 (Small)
2nd: VU 14:45 (Cunningham), VU 13: 47 (Vigilante), PSU 12:03 (Vosburgh, Dolik), VU 11:05 (Casertano, Cunningham), VU 10:06 (Small), PSU 4:14 (Forster, Sturgis), VU 1:12 (Rice, Hart), VU 0:01 (Bell, Hart)
3rd: PSU 11:36 (Mackrides, Sturgis), PSU 7:34 (Sturgis), VU 5:58 (Small), PSU 4:41 (Gribbin, Sturgis), VU 3:39 (Rice, Castertano), VU 2:56 (Cunningham)
4th: VU 12:43 (Cunningham, Vigilante); VU 8:15 (Bell, Vigilante), VU 7:30 (Small), VU 1:46 (O’Neil)
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 24, VU 37 MAN-UP OPPS: PSU 1-5, VU 3-6
SHOTS (SH-SOG): PSU 24-13, VU 42-35 FACE-OFFS: PSU 5-23, VU 18-23
TURNOVERS: PSU 13, VU 12
GOALIE SUMMARY: PSU Austin Kaut (60:00, 17 GA, 18 SV); VU Billy Hurley (56:17, 5 GA, 8 SV), Dan Gutierrez (3:43, 0 GA, 0 SV)
SCORE BY QUARTERS: 1 2 3 4 F
PENN STATE 0 2 3 0 5
VILLANOVA 4 6 3 4 17
RECORDS: Penn State 1-3, 0-0 CAA; Villanova 4-1