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Men’s lacrosse: Villanova, Lafayette earn wins; Penn falls

Saturday, 7th April 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 4/7/12
From Press Releases

No. 13 Villanova (7-4, 3-0) got out to a 11-2 lead at halftime and never looked back as the Wildcats handily defeated Rutgers (5-6, 1-3) 14-9 at Yurcak Field on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Villanova remains undefeated in BIG EAST competition as they handed the Scarlet Knights their third consecutive loss in as many years.

Senior Kevin Cunningham led the team with four points via two goals and two assists while sophomore John LoCascio posted a game-high seven ground balls and four caused turnovers. Freshman Eric Gartner (Great Valley) and Mike Francia (Wilton, Conn.) posted their first career goals while junior Paul Mita (Conestoga) and freshman Ryan DeSimone notched their first career assists in the victory.

Aiding in the victory, the Wildcat defense held the Scarlet Knights scoreless for the entire second quarter and for a total of 17:19 bridging from the end of the first quarter and going into the third.

Villanova got out to a strong start after finding themselves down 1-0 from a turnover off the opening faceoff. Sophomore Kevin O’Neil got the Wildcats on board at the 12:12 mark from a Francia assist to begin the scoring for the day. Villanova would go on to net four consecutive goals from junior Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.), senior Michael Vigilante, Gartner and Francia to put the Wildcats up 5-1 with 1:48 remaining in the first stanza.

With seven seconds remaining in the quarter, Cunningham began another scoring frenzy along with Jack Rice, Nick Doherty, Vigilante and Hart to give Villanova an 11-2 edge going into halftime.

Rutgers would begin their own comeback in the second half, netting six straight goals with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter from Scott Klimchak, Will Mangan and Michael Diehl. The Scarlet Knights gained momentum when Villanova was called for a three minute unreleaseable penalty at the 2:16 mark and went on to close the Villanova lead, 12-9, with 8:16 remaining in the contest. During that span, Rutgers held the Wildcats scoreless for 21:46.

With just over a minute left in regulation, Rice netted his 26th goal of the season off a Cunningham assist to break the scoring drought while senior Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md.) notched the final goal of the game with 23 second remaining to solidify the Villanova victory, 14-9.

Defensively, senior Dan Gutierrez tallied 11 saves in the victory while Rutgers Steven Lusby and Joseph Donnelly (Radnor) combined for eight saves in the defeat. Sophomore Thomas Croonquist claimed 10-of-16 (62%) wins from the face-off X while senior Nolan Vihlen went 5-of-9 (55%) for the day.

Lafayette 8, Holy Cross 4

Lafayette led from the opening minutes and never relinquished its advantage en route to an victory over the Crusaders. Brian Bock (Spring-Ford) and Cory Scheuerle (St. Joseph’s Prep) each scored twice as Lafayette received goals from six different players in the win.

Goalkeeper Jake Hyatt earned the win in the Lafayette cage, turning away 10 Holy Cross shots. Bock also extended his point-scoring streak to 11 games.

A little more than a minute into the game, senior captain Bob FitzPatrick put Lafayette (3-8, 1-3) on the board with his first career goal. At the 8:35 mark, the Leopards pushed the score to 2-0 on Will Heffernan’s (Haverford School) 11th goal of the year.

After a goal by James Kennedy made it 2-1 at 7:25, Bock scored to give the visitors a 3-1 lead going into the second quarter.

Scheuerle extended the advantage to 4-1 with his marker 61 seconds into the quarter, but Holy Cross (4-7, 0-5) scored twice in a nine second span before halftime to pull within one at intermission.

Two goals in the third quarter, Greg Allis and Greg Rau, and Bock’s second to open the fourth quarter gave Lafayette complete control at 7-3 with 8:07 to play. Holy Cross added a fourth tally with 3:34 to go, but Scheuerle sealed the game with his second score less than a minute later.

Statistically, the disparity in shots was the biggest difference, as Lafayette fired 33 compared to 25 for Holy Cross. Ground balls were 29-27 in favor of the Leopards and Lafayette was plus-1 in the turnover department. The Crusaders had the edge in faceoffs, winning 9-of-16.

Yale 11, Penn 10

Rob Schlesinger scored with just 11 seconds left to propel his team to the victory. After his team held the ball for nearly three minutes, Schlesinger popped out from behind the goal to the left side, and as he faded away he fired a shot that beat Penn goalie Brian Feeney inside the far post. It was Schlesinger’s only goal in the game.

It was the second game in a row Penn (1-7, 0-4) has lost in the final 12 seconds, and the third during this five-game losing streak. Brown (4-6, 1-2) entered the game having lost three one-goal decisions among its last five contests, which probably explained the Bears level of exultance when this one was finally over.

Penn was once again gallant in defeat. The Quakers were down by two goals midway through the fourth quarter, but rolled up three goals in a span of 2:26 to take a 10-9 lead. However, it is hard to ignore the facts, and in this one the most glaring stat is that the Red and Blue had 23 turnovers — matching their shot total for the game — and only six of them were forced.

John Conneely and Anthony Adler finished the game with three goals and an assist to lead Penn. Joe McCallion (Haverford School) won 7 of 14 face-offs and dished two assists.

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