Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/20/15
From Press Release
The Villanova women’s lacrosse team (9-6, 4-2 BIG EAST) successfully earned the program’s first BIG EAST Tournament spot after defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores (7-9, 4-3 BIG EAST) in a thrilling 12-10 victory on Sunday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. Seven different Wildcats put points on the boards as Villanova fought to keep their postseason dreams alive.
After this game the seeding for the BIG EAST tournament stands as follows: Florida, though suffering their first conference loss of the season against UConn Saturdaynight, has successfully clinched the No. 1 seed. Regardless of what happens for the remainder of the schedule Georgetown has also clinched the No. 2 seed.
With Villanova claiming the victory, the Wildcats will look to their final regular season game against UConn to determine their final seeding. If Nova goes on to beat UConn this Saturday, Villanova will be the No. 3 seed and Vanderbilt will end their season in the No. 4 seed. (Vanderbilt and UConn would both be 4-3 and Vanderbilt claimed the regular season meeting between the two.)
If UConn claims the victory next weekend, UConn will claim the No. 3 seed and Villanova would take the No. 4 seed.
Sunday, however, the Wildcats came out focused with the task at hand: the Commodores.
It was not an easy feat by any means. Vanderbilt came out of the gates blazing scoring within the first 15 seconds of the game to take an early 1-0 lead over Nova.
The determined Wildcats came back, won the draw and posted their own goal quickly after at 27:13 as sophomore Carolyn Dottino put Nova on the board off a free-position shot.
Less than two minutes later at the 25:46 mark senior Jessica Mucci found junior Kelsey Denihan for her 19th goal of the season to give the Wildcats an early 2-1 edge.
Mucci, who leads the conference in assists averaging 2.00 per game, is now quickly approaching her 100th career assist. As the Wildcat’s current program leader in career assists, the senior continues to dominate teams behind the crease as her distribution skills land her the ninth best average nationally.
Vanderbilt – which got three groundballs from Alex Duckenfield (Strath Haven) and a caused turnover from Maggie Forker (Episcopal Academy) – would quickly return the favor, however, scoring a minute later to tie and then another to take the lead at 23:42 at 3-2.
Less than a minute later at 23:00, senior Hannah Goforth (Bishop Shanahan) found the back of the net off the Wildcat’s second free-position shot to once again bring the score even at three.
The game was highly contested as there were four lead changes and four tied scores throughout the game as both teams fought for their first BIG EAST Tournament spot.
Goforth’s goal sparked a string of Wildcat points as Breen found the back of the net off a pass from senior Jackie Froccaro as 19:55, Froccaro posted her first goal of the game at 12:56 and Dottino posted her second free-position goal of the game at 7:38 to give the Wildcats a commanding 6-3 lead over the Commodores.
Vanderbilt would sneak one more goal past junior goal keep Jacklyn Fraum but the Wildcats would ultimately go into the locker room at halftime with a 6-4 lead and some serious momentum.
The Wildcats out numbered the Commodores in draws (VU 7, VANDY 4) and free-position shots (VU 3, VANDY 0) in the first half.
Vanderbilt started the second half the same as the first: with a goal in the first 30 seconds of play to very quickly close the Wildcat’s gap to only 6-5.
The duo of Mucci and Denihan would once again find themselves in a position at 28:01 to give Nova the edge off a play started by junior Shannon Galvin who created a turnover off a Commodore clear-attempt.
Denihan’s goal would create another momentum push for the Wildcats as Froccaro scored again at 25:22 and Galvin would find the back of the net off the Wildcat’s fourth successful free-position shot of the game at 23:55 to give the Wildcats a three-point margin for the third time in the contest.
Vanderbilt would only be silent for so long as they posted their seventh goal of the game two minutes later to bring the score within two again as a yellow card on junior Dana Bouwman gave the Commodores their first successful free-position shot of the day and an opportunity to grab the momentum back.
After an almost eight minute battle, the longest period of time the entire game would see without a goal being scored, Vanderbilt was able to score again to bring the score within one with 13:43 remaining in the game.
Junior Galvin would give the Wildcats the firm lead shortly after off her second successful free-position shot of the day at 10:41 to give the Wildcats some confidence in the hard-fought last 10 minutes of the game.
The confidence was short lived unfortunately as the Commodores returned the favor and score less than ten seconds later at 10:31 and again at 6:25 to tie everything up at 10 with just about six and a half minutes on the board.
For a majority of the season, Nova Nation has gotten to hear the entertaining tale of the fabulous distributor Mucci finding the commanding scorer Froccaro for game-winning goals all season. That was not the case for this thrilling must-win match for the Wildcat offense today, however.
With 4:35 remaining in the game to give the Wildcat’s their lead back, Froccaro found Mucci from across the field for Mucci’s first goal of the game. For good measure, the duo would meet up again with four seconds remaining to give the Wildcats a little extra cushion and secure the Villanova victory.
The victory this afternoon was also in part of a strong and balanced Nova defense who tallied a total of nine caused turnovers and 19 grounds balls, led by sophomore defender Sam Scarfogliero and Galvin who each posted two casued turnovers. Scarfogliero also posted three ground balls, as did Fraum, who also tallied a draw control.
Fraum posted six saves with most of them coming at incredibly pivotal moments, as the Commodores would outshoot the Wildcats 30 to 26.
The Wildcats will be back in action on Saturday for senior day as they take on the UConn Huskies in Villanova Stadium at 1 p.m.