VILLANOVA, PA. 4/4/2012 – The Villanova University Men’s Lacrosse team was looking for a bounce back win against the #20 Georgetown Hoyas. The 13th ranked Wildcats lost three of their previous four games, all against nationally ranked opponents. Villanova got a huge win against Syracuse, but lost to Penn State in the following contest. They needed a win, and got it 15 – 7 over Georgetown at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats took a quick lead that they never relinquished. It was an important win for the team that was attributable to the fast start according to Coach Mike Corrado.
“You always want to get off to a good start especially coming off a loss,” said Corrado. “It’s a confidence booster. We’ve gotten off to good starts and let teams come back on us. We were ready for them to make a run but didn’t because they couldn’t get the ball on faceoffs. ”
Villanova took an early lead as Junior attack Jack Rice scored a hat trick to start the game. Rice scored 4 of the first 5 Villanova goals as they raced to a 5 – 1 lead with 9:40 to play in the second quarter. Rice scored all of his goals for the game in that stretch. The Wildcats had a 6 – 3 halftime lead. Any thoughts of a Hoya comeback were quickly extinguished as the Wildcats scored the first 4 goals of the third quarter to move ahead 10 – 3 with 5:17 to play. The lead would grow to as many as 9 in the fourth quarter.
During a span beginning in the second quarter going late into the third quarter Villanova held Georgetown scoreless for a span of 17 minutes. Senior attack C.J. Small, who had 3 goals and 3 assists, said the Wildcats could sense how well the defense was playing.
“You notice when your defense is playing great,” said Small. “It’s awesome as our bench and our entire team is fired up and really excited. It’s a major team booster.”
Helping the Wildcats to keep Georgetown from getting a rally was that the they won faceoffs and got the ground balls. Villanova won 19 of the 25 faceoffs. Sophomore face off specialist Thomas Croonquist won 16 of 19 faceoffs. The Wildcats got 41 ground balls to 26 for Georgetown. Croonquist registered 8 ground balls. It was those little things that made a difference for Villanova.
“We controlled possession time against them,” said Corrado. “They (Georgetown) are great in transition.”
With the win Villanova broke a 9 game losing streak against Georgetown that was 20 years in duration. This was a meaningful win for the program.
“I was here in 1992, the last time we beat them,” said Corrado. “In 2010 we lost to them in the last game of the year here, both teams felt whoever won that game would get an NCAA bid. Last year we went down there and lost by a goal in a game that we felt if we win we would host an NCAA Tournament game. We lost two tough games. It means a lot.”
Villanova improves to 6 – 4 overall and are 2 – 0 in the Big East. The Wildcats stayed tied for the league lead with Notre Dame. Next for Villanova will be four conference games beginning with a game at Rutgers before coming home to play St. John’s and Notre Dame.
“It’s exciting, but we have to focus on our next game and look past this,” Small said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian