VILLANOVA, April 9, 2011 – The Villanova Men’s Lacrosse team broke a two game losing streak opening the game scoring eight unanswered goals cruising to a 10 – 4 win over #17 Delaware at Villanova Stadium. The #8 Villanova Wildcats did not give up a goal until the 2:24 mark of the 3rd Quarter. Offensively, Sophomore Attack Jack Rice turned in a hat trick for the home team. This was a bounce back game for Villanova, and Coach Michael Corrado was looking to see how the team would react after losing to Syracuse and Notre Dame.
“We lost our last two games against the Number 1 and 2 teams in the fourth quarter,” said Corrado. “I was interested to see how our team would react. Kevin Cunningham, our leading scorer didn’t play. He was injured. We challenged everybody to step up, and they did. It was a great effort on both sides of the ball.”
The Wildcats got the scoring started with 6:04 on the clock as Sophomore Attack Will Casertano scored his 10th goal of the season. Villanova opened space in the last 28 seconds of the quarter on goals by Junior Attack C.J. Small and Rice gave the home team a 3 – 0 lead, The Blue and White got three more goals in the second period by Rice, Junior Midfielder Michael Vigilante, and Sophomore Midfielder Nick Doherty.
“We knew if we got goals early the defense would step up and play great,” said Rice. “We kept them off the board for three quarters.”
It was the Wildcats defense and goal keeping that made the lead look much larger. Delaware had 10 shots in the first half, but only 4 on the net against Villanova Sophomore Goal Keeper Billy Hurley. In the game Hurley made 8 saves. The sophomore made point blank save on Delaware Attack Eric Smith at the 9:55 mark of the second quarter. At 7:18 Hurley snagged a long shot by Midfielder John Mills preserving the five goal lead.
The defense created 21 turnovers, 8 forced by Senior Long Stick Midfielder Brian Karalunas. Hurley made key saves to keep the Blue Hens scoreless until late in the 3rd quarter.
“I thought we rebounded well,” said Karalunas. “Against Notre Dame I felt the defense let the team down a little. Our number one goal was to play with intensity.”
Rice’s three goals gives him 23 for the season, and an assists gives him 26 points on the season. Small and Vigilante scored a goal and was credited with 2 assists. Casertano contributed 2 goals and an assist. Karalunas has caused 54 turnovers this season. Eric Smith had a goal and an assist for Delaware.
Villanova improves to 8 – 3 on the season. The Wildcats prepare for a home Big East game against Rutgers on April 16. The Wildcats are looking for their first conference win, but more importantly, they want to establish momentum for the rest of the season.
“We are out to prove that we belong as a top ten team,” said Corrado.
Written By: Glenn Papazian