MLAX: ‘Nova tops Lafayette in debut

Tony Lovisa

The men’s lacrosse team, led by senior Andy German’s hat trick, kicked off its season with a convincing 8-5 win on the road last weekend against the Lafayette Leopards.

The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead in the first quarter, thanks to goals by German, senior Mike Haas and junior Chris MacDonald.

Lafayette tied the game at 3-3 in the second quarter, but freshman Mark Scioscia scored just before the half to give Villanova a 4-3 lead.

The Leopards bounced right back to knot the game up once again, but Scioscia’s second goal, followed by back-to-back goals from German and an unassisted goal by senior Eric Heidenberger helped pull the Wildcats ahead for good, sealing the win in their season opener.

The victory over the Lafayette Leopards is just the beginning of what the team hopes will be a successful season. With a new head coach and a nationally-ranked defense, this season’s expectations are high coming of last year’s disappointing season.

Last season, the Wildcats finished 5-10 overall and 3-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, good for third place. In an attempt to improve on this frustrating finish, former Assistant Head Coach Michael Corrado, Class of ’87, was promoted to head coach. Corrado brings a “new energy and a new outlook for the team,” German said.

Corrado also brings defense, and a good one at that. His defensive unit has been ranked nationally in scoring defense for the past three years and was ranked fourth last year.

A smooth transition is always important, as a team may need time to adjust to a change of head coaches. However, the players do not anticipate this to pose a problem.

“Coach Corrado has been in this program for a long time and with him in charge now a new tone has been set,” MacDonald said. The team hopes this new tone will translate into wins, especially against perennial Wildcat-slayer Towson.

Villanova has yet to defeat Towson but has come closer and closer with each passing year. Many believe that this will be the year that the Wildcats will defeat the Tigers.

“The game that I am most looking forward to has to be the Towson game,” senior Paul Genovese said. “We have never beaten that team, and I don’t want to leave here without changing that.”

Another player offered his suggestion for the game he is dreading most. Haas said he is “not looking forward to the bus ride to Sacred Heart this year.”

Overall, the team hopes to have a successful season, even in the most-dreaded games.

“We have great expectations for this year,” Heidenberger said. “We are excited to prove ourselves.”