Women’s Lacrosse Falls to No.10 Michigan


Courtesy of Maggie Graw/Villanovan Photography

Libby McKenna (above) led the Wildcats with two goals.

Amanda McKean, Staff Writer

On Sunday, Mar. 20, the Villanova women’s lacrosse team faced off against No. 10 University of Michigan at home in the Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats were defeated, 8-7, with only a minute left in double overtime. The Wildcats now have a record of 3-7.

The leading scorers for the Wildcats were senior midfielders Libby McKenna and Caroline Curnal, who each scored two goals. In addition, junior midfielder Addie Fischer scored the first goal of the game, while senior attacker Olivia Piccirilli scored the final goal. Freshman attacker Sydney Pappas proved to be a major factor for the team, as she scored one goal and played a career-high 79 minutes. For the Wolverines, the leading scorer was Kaley Thompson, who scored a hat trick.

The Wolverines started as the more aggressive team in the first quarter with Villanova senior goalkeeper Alexis Moro having to make a tough save 40 seconds into the game. After a Villanova turnover, Michigan broke away for a goal scored by Kaitlyn Mead. Despite this early setback and the tough Wolverine defense, the Wildcats were quickly back on track thanks to Fischer, who scored an unassisted goal around the 12-minute mark. With five minutes left in the quarter, Curnal took the ball straight to the net unassisted and flicked it past the goalkeeper to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead going into the second quarter. 

The Wildcats controlled most of the second quarter and were aggressive from the start. Within the first 60 seconds of the quarter, McKenna scored her first of two goals unassisted. After winning the following faceoff, Villanova gained possession of the ball, and after many shots and recoveries of the ball around the Wolverine net, Curnal connected with Pappas for a goal with three seconds left on the shot clock. This was the last goal of the half, and for the remainder of the quarter, both teams played strong defense, producing turnover after turnover. The Wildcats were sent back to the locker room with the lead, 4-1. 

In the opening faceoff of the third quarter, Villanova obtained possession of the ball and proved it was not going to let up. Within the first 40 seconds of the quarter, Curnal scored her second goal and gave her team its largest lead of the game, 5-1. The Wolverines were not giving up, as they went on a three-goal scoring run. The first goal was scored by Thompson and the second by Erin Garvey about 30 seconds later. Finally, the streak ended with a goal by Annabelle Burke at 10:24. After many close calls and a couple of Wolverine shots that hit the post, the Wildcats got the ball back by causing a shot clock violation for the Wolverines. After this Wolverine turnover, Piccirilli gave her team some breathing room with a goal assisted by Alexa Tsahalis. However, even after a yellow card given to the Wolverines’ Burke, her team was still able to score and cut its deficit to one at the end of the third quarter.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Thompson sent the ball to the back of the Wildcat net, tying the game. From there, the Wildcats had control of the ball for about three minutes until McKenna gave the Wildcats back their lead, scoring her second goal of the game. However, this lead did not last long, as about 30 seconds later, the Wolverines tied the game again, sending it into overtime. 

During the first overtime period, each team took good shots on goal, but both goalkeepers kept the game alive. It was during this extra time that McKenna also had four turnovers, a season-high for her. 

At the beginning of double overtime, the Wolverines gained possession, but the Wildcats soon won the ball back after an intense fight over a ground ball with 1:40 left on the clock. McKenna had the last shot of the game, but it was saved by the Wolverine goalkeeper, giving them the last possession of the overtime period. However, with 44.1 seconds left in the game, Curnal received a yellow card and was forced to exit the game. Playing a man-up, the Wolverines’ Caroline Bean got the ball past Moro with 14 seconds left on the clock, giving her team the victory. 

 The Wildcats will host UC Davis at the Villanova Stadium on Saturday, Mar. 26. The last time the Wildcats faced the Aggies was 12 years ago on Mar. 4, 2010, when they won, 13-12. This game will mark Alumni Day for Villanova, when former players and head coach Julie Young will be honored. The game is scheduled for 12 p.m.