Men’s Lacrosse ranked 18th nationally

Tom Boyle

On Wednesday, the No. 18 ‘Cats played host to Big 5 rival St. Joseph’s and came out on top with a 7-4 victory to improve their record to 4-1 on the season. The game stayed close for the three quarters of the game, but when the fourth quarter started it was obvious the ‘Cats were the more hungry of the two teams. Marc Creegan tallied three goals in the final frame to secure the victory. Goaltender Joseph Canuso was the star of the game making seven saves in net for the ‘Cats.

Off to a fast start the men’s lacrosse team has already climbed to its highest ranking ever at No. 18, in this weeks STX/USILA ranking. With three victories over Binghamton, Drexel and Lehigh and only one loss, a hard fought loss to Duke the Wildcats are making their presence known. The root of these victories can be found in their hard nose defense. The Wildcats currently boast the best defense in the nation keeping opponents to a miserly 4.5 goals per game. This can be attributed not only to the strong play of the defensemen but also to the very quick ball movement and good communication between the entire team. Furthermore the work of goalie Dan Biser, who is currently ranked number eight nationally in goals against average, has been a key component to the ‘Cats early start.

The Villanova offense has been able to complement its defense admirably as well. With major contributions from senior Brian Marks, who is leading the nation in assists with 15. Another offensive standout is sophomore Marc Creegan, who has amassed 13 goals in only four games this season is currently tied for 11th nationally in goal scoring. Marks and Creegan along with the rest of the team have vastly outscored their opponents in their victories (a combined 21 goals in their two victories over Binghamton and Drexel).

Even in its only loss this season, the men’s team hung tough against Duke, then ranked No. 8 in the nation. Losing only by one goal, 6-5, Villanova gave the Blue Devils all they could handle before time expired. The scoring came from the trio of Marks, Creegan and Dave Cacciabeve. Creegan contributed three goals on the night and Cacciabeve scored the other two and all but one was set up by the stick of Marks. The men have 10 games left on their schedule and judging by the track thus far they could continue to climb up in the rankings before the season is done.

The women this past Wednesday continued on their hot streak, as they traveled into Philly to take on Big 5 rival La Salle and came through with the win 12-7. The game was close in the first half with teams trading goals, but the ‘Cats were able to go into the half with a 7-4 win. The ‘Cats came out exploding in the second half as they scored the first three goals of the half to spot them a 10-5 lead, a lead they would never relinquish.

The women have opened up their season with two very impressive victories. Beginning the Wildcats’ season with a crushing loss at the hands of local rival Temple, 17-6, their confidence was shaken.

But with a record of 2-1 the women are showing they have talent and can play. Like the men, in their only two victories of the season the women’s team has totaled 21 goals. In their victory over Fairfield the women showed that their loss to Temple was indeed a one-time event by displaying that they can score instead of being just scored upon. ‘Nova soundly beat Fairfield 15-7, with goals being contributed from a variety of players, but most prominently from by Katie Mannix, Beth Hanley and Beth Loffredo who all had three goals apiece.

Its victory over Lafayette however, was much less offensively impressive as it was defensively sound, holding the Leopards to only nine shots the entire game. In the victory, Villanova freshman goalie Jess McGratten experienced her first collegiate level victory.