Men’s lacrosse loses season opener

Daina Amorosano & Kelsey Ruane

 In its season opener, the men’s lacrosse team faced a closely contested nonconference game on the road, falling 10-8 to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon. 

Sophomore C.J. Small scored the first goal of the game, and the season, for Villanova with three minutes remaining in the first quarter, sending the team into the second quarter three goals behind the Buckeyes. The goal came off an assist from sophomore Kevin Cunningham.

Although OSU scored the first goal of the second quarter, Villanova answered with four goals from senior co-captain Mark Scioscia, freshman Jack Rice, senior Paul Webber and sophomore Matt Bell. Ohio State led 6-5 going into halftime.

In a goal-less third quarter for the Wildcats, Ohio State tallied two additional goals, reclaiming a three-point lead going into the fourth.

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, OSU scored its ninth goal, which did not stop Villanova from rallying. Junior Troy Higgins scored his first goal of the game and Webber his second. The last goal of the game for Villanova, though, came from Rice, who netted the ball to bring the team within one with just over eight minutes remaining. 

OSU cushioned its lead with a goal late in the game, bringing the final score to 10-8 and their all-time record against Villanova to 3-0.

Villanova dominated OSU in total shots (32-25) and groundballs (31-22). The Buckeyes’ goalie made 11 saves in the win, while sophomore Dan Gutierrez saved three for the Wildcats in the loss. Gutierrez saw action in one game against Virginia in 2009, making his career debut at the NCAA Tournament.

The loss comes after an historic 2009 season, which included a first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, a CAA tournament championship, CAA Co-Coach of the Year honors for Mike Corrado and USILA All-American and CAA Defensive Player of the Year accolades for junior Brian Karalunas.

The Wildcats will take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in Bethlehem, Pa. in their second game of the season on Feb. 27. The faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.