VILLANOVA, PA. 4/18/2015 – When the Villanova Wildcats men’s lacrosse team took the field, its mission was clear. A win by the St. John’s Red Storm would give them the fourth seed in the upcoming Big East Tournament and eliminate Villanova. A win would allow the Wildcats to stay in contention and gain the upper hand for the final tournament spot.
The Wildcats overcame an early deficit scoring the only six goals of the third quarter to earn a 21 – 11 win over the Red Storm at Villanova Stadium to move into a tie for fourth place in the conference. It also ended a five game losing streak.
“The way we see it now is if we beat Providence, we are tied with St. John’s and the first tiebreaker is head-to-head, we have that,” said Villanova Coach Mike Corrado. “That’s a good place to be where you control your own destiny.”
In the initial stages of the game it looked like the game would be decided by who was going to outscore the other team. And St. John’s was getting the early goals taking a 4 – 1 lead at the 9:13 mark of the first quarter. Just three and a half minutes later the gap was still three as St. John’s held a 6 – 3 lead. Villanova made a defensive change to move the momentum back in their direction.
“In the first quarter we gave up four goals in transition,” Corrado said. “We were making it easy for them to score quickly. Then we went to a zone defense which slowed them down a lot.”
The change also gave the offensive momentum back to Villanova who tied the game at 6 after one-quarter. The game was tied at 9 on a man-up goal by Wildcat freshman midfielder Sean Cerrone, one of his five goals on the night. Junior attack Harry DellaFerra put one past St. John’s goal keeper Harry Burke to put Villanova in front with a minute left to halftime. It also started a 7 consecutive goal outburst for the Blue and White.
Freshman attack Danny Seibel scored at the 10:45 mark of the third quarter which began the after halftime run. Seibel finished the consecutive goal streak with 2:10 on the clock to give the Wildcats a 16 – 10 lead. Seibel scored 4 goals in the game.
“We started to hit some shots,” said Corrado. “Our offense has played well over the past few games, we just needed to stick some shots. We shot the ball better tonight than we had in previous games.”
“We changed our clear and created some opportunities off our clear,”
For Villanova junior attack Johnny Gallaway posted 3 goals. Cerrone added 2 assists in his 7 point game. Eric DeJohn had 3 goals and 3 assists for St. John’s. Stefan Diachenko turned in 4 points for the Red Storm, 2 goals and 2 assists.
The last playoff spot is up for grabs. Both teams are 1 – 3 in the Big East with a game to play. The Wildcats (6 – 6) visit Providence who is looking for their first conference win of the season. St. John’s travels to third place Georgetown in their regular season finale. It now comes down to the game at Providence. Cats win and the Cats are in.
“Our goal all year was to get to the Big East Tournament,” said Corrado. “Whether you are a one, two, three, or four seed doesn’t matter, so it is right there for us. Our kids will be very excited for the opportunity coming up next weekend.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian