Men’s lacrosse falls to Penn in rain

Mark O'Neil

The men’s lacrosse team lost to the Penn Quakers on Saturday 8-7 in a closely contested game during a downpour at Penn’s Franklin Field. 

The team got off to a strong start, scoring the first three goals of the game within six minutes to jump out to a quick lead. Penn answered with four goals in a row to take the lead, but Villanova fought back to take a one goal lead with eight minutes left. The score stayed deadlocked until, with 2:13 left in the fourth quarter, Penn scored two goals within 13 seconds to tie and then take the lead that they would hold for the final two minutes of the game. 

The Wildcats opened the scoring early when freshman Jack Rice scored 51 seconds into the game off an assist from sophomore Kevin Cunningham. Less than two minutes later, the ‘Cats opened up a 2-0 lead when Cunningham scored, this time with the assist coming from senior Paul Webber.  

With just over nine minutes left in the first quarter, Villanova grabbed a three-goal lead on an own-goal when a ball went in off a Penn player.

After the initial push from Villanova, Penn would answer with four straight goals to take a 4-3 lead with four minutes left in the second quarter. The ‘Cats tied up the game at 4-4 when freshman Will Casertano scored off an assist from sophomore C.J. Small with just under three minutes left in the half. 

The game would remain tied until the 4:57 mark in the third quarter, when Penn senior Rob McMullen scored the second of his four goals to give the Quakers a one goal lead. Villanova answered less than two minutes later when Rice got his second goal of the game off an assist from junior Andrew Henrich. 

With just under 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter Penn once again took the lead off a Rob McMullen goal, but Villanova would answer with two goals in one minute to take a one goal lead with 8:35 left in the fourth quarter. 

The tying goal was scored by senior captain Mark Scioscia, and the second was scored by sophomore Michael Vigilante, with both goals being unassisted. 

With 2:13 left in the game, Penn leveled the game off a Corey Winkoff goal, and then took the lead for good 13 seconds later when McMullen scored his fourth goal of the game. 

Penn led the game in shots (29-20), while Villanova won more ground balls (23-17). Villanova’s goalie, sophomore Dan Gutierrez, led the game with seven saves, while Penn’s Chris Casey and Joe Hegener combined for six saves. 

 Jack Rice led the scoring for Villanova with two goals, while Penn’s McMullen led the scoring for Penn with four.  

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Wildcats, bringing their record for the season to 3-2. Penn brought its record to 4-2 after winning their fourth in a row.

The ‘Cats will face the University of Delaware Blue Hens in Newark,  Del. on March 20. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.