Webber, men’s lacrosse crush Jaspers

Caitlin Sullivan

 After a triumphant 9-8 upset over Notre Dame and its first-ever Big East victory, the No. 13 men’s lacrosse team continued its winning ways with a decisive win over non-conference opponent Manhattan College at Gaelic Park in Riverdale, N.Y. 

Senior Paul Webber led scoring with four goals, his second four-goal game of the season. Junior Mike Brennan tallied another three goals and one assist. 

The Wildcats started the game with a bang when senior Co-Captain Mark Scioscia found the net just two and a half minutes into the game. Manhattan answered right back a minute later with a goal to tie the game. Villanova regained the momentum with another goal three minutes later from sophomore Kevin Cunningham off an assist from sophomore Matt Bell. Webber and Brennan finished the quarter with another goal apiece to keep the Wildcats up 4-1.

The Jaspers and Wildcats exchanged goals back and forth throughout the second and third quarters. Manhattan started the second quarter strong with a goal, but Brennan’s goal, assisted by sophomore Will Casertano, answered right back. Manhattan slipped in another goal before the half but the Wildcats still went into halftime up 5-3.  

The ‘Cats started the second half with an unassisted goal from Webber. Manhattan answered back with another goal only a minute later. Sophomore Mike Vigilante found the net soon after, but again, Manhattan matched the goal to end the quarter 7-5. 

The fourth quarter started with Manhattan’s last goal of the game to make the score 7-6. This time, Villanova responded with seven unanswered goals to seal the game. 

Webber began the rally with 8:30 left in the game when he found the open goal unassisted. Sophomore C.J. Small sunk in his first goal off a Brennan assist less than a minute later before Webber had his fourth and final goal with 6:50 left. Brennan then scored his third goal a minute later. Cunningham found freshman Jack Rice on a man-up opportunity, and Rice netted the ball to put the Wildcats up 12-6. Smalls added one more goal. The game ended the way it began with a Scioscia goal off a Bell assist to finish the game 14-6. 

Defensively, freshman Billy Hurley totaled five saves to bring his in-goal record to 4-1 for the season. Senior Bryan McCartney and sophomore Nolan Vihlen led the Wildcats with five ground balls each. Villanova held a 39-35 advantage in ground balls and a 38-19 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams went 12 for 24 at face-offs. 

The Wildcats will be back in action in Big East Conference play Saturday, April 17 at Villanova Stadium as they battle the St. John’s Red Storm and look to bring their home game win streak to 10. The game starts at 7 p.m.