Lacrosse ranked nationally

Juli Walsh

The Villanova men’s lacrosse team may have opened its season on the wrong foot by losing to Colgate, but the preseason polls have predicted the Wildcats have a bright future ahead this year.

The Wildcats were recognized in the preseason polls both as a team and individually. This is the fourth consecutive year that the team has received a national ranking by both Faceoff magazine and The ‘Cats were named 22nd in the country and were tied with Hofstra to finish second in the conference.

Senior defender Jon Urbana was selected to the preseason All-American second team. Urbana said, “It was a great honor to be selected as a preseason All-American for the second time. The individual recognition is rewarding, but I’m more focused on the development and the eventual success of our team.”

Goalie Joseph Canuso was selected to the All-American honorable choice. Last season Canuso was named the League’s Co-Player of the Year. He collected 177 saves and had a .615 save percentage.

Head coach Randy Marks expects a great deal from his team this season. This is his 23rd year leading the pack. He believes his defense is a key component.

“I truly believe that we have one of the best defensive units in Division I,” Urbana said, “Building around Joe in the net, we have some great athletes. We look forward to shutting opposing offenses down all season long.”

Junior Matthew Starker, an experienced offensive midfielder, was second on the team in goals. From the result of the first match, Starker looks as though he will extend his leadership role further. In the Colgate game he scored four of the team’s six goals. His fourth goal tied the game 6-6, but Villanova was unable to get another shot in.

“Colgate was playing an extended zone which made it tough to get away uncontested shots, so when we got the opportunity we needed to score, unfortunately the Colgate goalie made some big saves down the stretch and made it a lot tougher then we would have liked it to be to score,” sad Starker, “Luckily this is the first game of the season and we have 13 more chances to win.”

Senior midfielder Dan Fanelli had a goal and an assist with captain Marc Creegan adding the final goal. Attackers Brendan O’Donnell and Matt Panneton both tallied assists.