Men’s lax downs Drexel, falls to No. 9

Juli Walsh

The men’s lacrosse team defeated Drexel 8-5 last Saturday. It was a close match, but Villanova pulled through in the fourth quarter for a crucial conference win. It was both teams’ first conference match.

The score was 5-4 going into the fourth quarter. The midfield took control of the game from here. The Wildcats’ midfielders netted three consecutive goals which put the game out of reach for the Dragons.

Senior midfielder Dan Fanelli scored his second goal of the game just 4:12 into the fourth quarter. Then the ‘Cats secured the victory with a pair of goals just 1:01 apart from each other in the final minutes of the game. Sophomore midfield Eric Webber scored with 5:55 remaining, and junior midfielder Matt Starker came up with another goal with just 4:54 left.

The Wildcats were out-shot 41-29 in the match, but they still managed to capture the win. Senior goalie Joe Canuso made 12 saves in the net, nine of which came in the second half.

The win was an all-around team effort. Seven different players accounted for the team’s eight goals.

Two days after this victory, Villanova fell to ninth-ranked Notre Dame, 11-7. The Wildcats offense scored three unanswered goals in the third quarter. It seemed as though the ‘Cats had an opportunity to overcome a big halftime deficit. However, the Fighting Irish were not going to give up their six-goal lead without a fight.

The Irish started the scoring just nine seconds into the game and never trailed from that point on. The Irish took a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter. In the middle of the first quarter, the Wildcats answered back with a pair of back-to-back goals in a span of less than one minute.

The scoring went back and forth during the first half. The Irish answered back with two more tallies, and the teams traded a pair of goals before the half ended with the score 10-4.

Villanova played a strong second half but was unable to make the comeback. The Wildcats took control of the third quarter, scoring three consecutive goals. They out shot Notre Dame 26-14 in the second half, but Notre Dame’s freshmen goalie made 16 saves, including 11 in the second half.

Fanelli and Tim Atkins led the team with two goals and one assist each. Starker assisted both of Fanelli’s goals, and Mike Hass, Marc Creegan and Eric Heidenberger all found the back of the net once.

Meanwhile, Jim Morrison led the Irish with five goals, while Matt Ryan and Colin Fatti both had two apiece.

Although the Wildcats out-shot the Fighting Irish 40-37, not enough of their shots fell to capture the win. Canuso played a solid game making a total of 14 saves, 7 in each half.

Villanova is now 5-3 overall and 1-0 in the CAA. They will return to action tonight at 7:30 p.m. for the second league game hosted by Hofstra. This is an important game for the team since the teams were picked to tie for second in the conference in preseason polls.