No. 18 ‘Cats bounce back with win

Tom Boyle

The Villanova men’s lacrosse team returned to the field to face the Stony Brook Seawolves last Saturday.

Facing is the best term that can be used to describe the game, because the Seawolves never really stood a chance against the aggressive Wildcat offense that won 13-5.

The Wildcats exploded out of the gate, quickly building a 7-0 lead before the Seawolves scored their first goal. After back-to-back tallies in the third quarter, the ‘Cats went on a string of three straight goals to put the game out of reach.

Senior Brian Marks notched a hat trick, and Dan Fanelli chipped in two as well. Players Brendan O’Donnell, Matt Lucas, Richie Kratz and Chris Kramer all had one goal apiece in the victory. But the scoring was led by freshman Matt Starker, who replaced junior Dave Cacciabeve, out for the season following his injury against Bucknell last week.

Starker has played well, amassing six goals in the last two games, four in the win over Stony Brook and two in the loss to Bucknell.

The win against Stony Brook came after a tough loss to Bucknell where the ‘Cats saw several shots deflect of the the pipe, leaving the men feeling as if they let one go.

“We beat ourselves, with sloppy mistakes,” goalie Joe Canuso said. Losing for only the second time all season at Bucknell, the ‘Cats needed to come back strong against Stony Brook in preparation for their upcoming game against Towson State, who is ranked in the top 10 nationally.

After the victory over Stony Brook, Villanova head coach Randy Marks was proud of his team.

“They were bounced back after a tough loss [Bucknell], in a game we should have won,” Marks said. “That is the sign of a good team.”

A big indicator of this is Villanova out-shooting Stony Brook 34 to 14. One week after being awarded the freshman of the week distinction by the Colonial Athletic Association, Joe Canuso had six saves on 14 shots. “We just felt that they couldn’t stop us,” Canuso said. “We were just better athletes than they were.”

This game was important to the ‘Cats because this upcoming Saturday’s visit from Towson is not just match-up against a highly ranked team, but is a conference game as well and could be one of the harder games the Wildcats face all year because of Towson’s style of play.

“Towson likes to play a run and gun style, using nine mid-fielders,” Marks said.

If ‘Nova is able to contain the fast-paced style that Townson thrives on it must look to its defense to continue to produce. So far this season seniors Owen Corso, Eddie Deegan, Andrew Galano, Jeff Schmidt and Sean Wall appear to be up to the task.

“Two keys of the game will be controlling the tempo and winning the face-offs,” Marks said. While the ‘Cats are tops in the conference in face-off-wins, Towson is a close second.

While ‘Nova has only lost twice this season, both losses were to ranked teams. The early season defeat by Duke and last week’s loss to Bucknell were games that the Wildcats could have won, but fell apart in the fourth quarter.

The ‘Cats will take to the field next against Townson, at Villanova stadium this Saturday at 7 pm.