Villanova falls goal short in loss against Cincinnati

David Cassilo

In its second Big East game of the season, the women’s lacrosse team fell to the Cincinnati Bearcats 11-10 on Sunday. The loss leaves Villanova with a 1-3 record overall this season.

It was a back and forth affair for most of the afternoon, but a goal by Natalie Starvaggi with 6:05 remaining in the game broke the 10-10 tie and gave Cincinnati the victory.

Villanova started the game strong, and led the Bearcats 6-5 at halftime. The second half saw the lead shift back and forth. Villanova trailed 9-6 before it rallied to tie the game at nine. After Cincinnati scored their tenth goal, Villanova once again answered back. Eventually, though, Starvaggi scored the winning goal.

Although they were defeated, the team got a very strong performance from redshirt sophomore midfielder Erica Rybinski. She finished the day with four goals and one assist.

Senior attacker Taylor Lucy also played well enough to keep the Wildcats in the game as she scored two goals of her own.

Junior attacker Sarah Berger, sophomore midfielder Mia Naccarato, sophomore midfielder Rachel Lasda and sophomore attacker Carly Miller all scored a goal each.

Although Cincinnati eventually finished on top, the game was even. Villanova narrowly outshot Cincinnati 30-28. It had one less turnover than the Bearcats, and both teams had 12 saves. The Bearcats had a 22-21 advantage in groundballs in the contest.

Although the Wildcats lost the game, playing almost even against the Bearcats can be taken as a positive. The Bearcats are 4-1 this season and are expected to be one of the better teams in the Big East conference.

Villanova can try to build on those positives when they take on Monmouth next Sunday. The game will be played in West Long Branch, N.J., at 1 p.m.