No. 9 Villanova Stifles Big East Foe Rutgers
from press release
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The No. 9 Villanova
Wildcats (9-4, 3-1 Big East) brought home a monumental 8-4 victory
Sunday afternoon in a defensive battle with BIG EAST Conference foe
Rutgers (5-7, 1-3 Big East) in Piscataway, N.J. Despite the rainy
and cold conditions, senior Paul Webber (Manhasset, N.Y.) captured
his fourth game of the season scoring at least four points,
tallying two goals and two assists on the day.
With the victory, the Wildcats are tied with Georgetown for second place in the conference and are in prime contention to earn a bid to the 16-team NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament. Rutgers lost their third consecutive game to a top-10 ranked opponent with today's match.
Head coach Mike Corrado states, "Today was a big win for us to get us to 3-1 in the Big East. It was a great way to rebound from a tough double-overtime loss last Tuesday to Lehigh. Our defense played incredibly well and we did a great job of controlling one of the best midfields in the nation against Rutgers. Our offense played well, we had a good distribution of goals, and Billy Hurley came up big for us making ten saves for the day."
To begin the game, Rutgers got on board first when Kevin Hover notched the first score at the 11:41 mark. Just 28 seconds later, Villanova's Paul Webber gave the Wildcats their first point after turning a man-down scenario into a VU scoring opportunity, evening the score at one-all. Trading goals, Rutgers' Gerhard Buehning gave RU the 2-1 lead at the 9:37 mark off an unassisted play.
Villanova then went on to score two straight scores from senior co-captain Mark Scioscia (East Hampton, N.Y.), his 17th and 18th of the season, with 9:12 and 4:15 remaining in the quarter.
A quiet second stanza saw VU junior Mike Brennan (Manhasset, N.Y.) score at the 13:48 mark from a transition started by senior Bryan McCartney (Doylestown, Pa.) in the defensive end. The goal gave the Wildcats a 4-2 lead, but Rutgers Buehning got the Scarlet Knights to within one with 6:49 remaining when he tallied his second goal of the game.
Going into intermission, the Wildcats held a slight 4-3 lead over RU.
VU dominated a defensive-minded third quarter for both teams, with VU seeing goals from sophomore Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md.) from a Will Casertano assist (Millbrook, N.Y.) at the 12:12 mark, and Casertano gaining his 11th goal of the season off a Webber pass with 28 seconds remaining in the quarter. Going into the final fifteen minutes, the Wildcats held a three goal advantage over the Scarlet Knights, 6-3.
Going into the fourth quarter after 32 minutes of scoreless action, RU's Tad Stanwick fed Hover for a goal with 4:44 remaining, but Villanova retaliated 38 seconds later when freshman Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) netted a goal off an Andrew Henrich (Wyndmoor, Pa.) assist to keep the Wildcats up.
The final goal of the day is attributed to Webber, getting his second goal from a Bell assist with 1:28 remaining.
VU led in nearly every category for the day, taking 19 of their 25 shots on goal and winning 9 of 15 face offs. Villanova captured 30 ground balls for the day.
Defensively, sophomore Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa.) and junior Brian Karalunas led the Wildcats with four caused turnovers apiece, while Chris Ficke (Madison, N.J) and Nolan Vihlen (Germantown, Tenn.) combined for 9 ground balls.
In goal, sophomore Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J) earned his sixth win of the season and made 10 saves on the day. RU's Billy Olin captured 11 saves in the defeat.
Villanova will be back in action on Saturday, May 1st when they travel to Providence, R.I. to take on the Friars. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Corrado states, "We're looking forward to our last two Big East games against Providence and Georgetown, it's going to be a great finish in the conference."
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