Women’s Lacrosse Downs UC Davis, 12-10


Courtesy of Maggie Graw/Villanovan Photography

Caroline Curnal had four goals in the win.

Amanda McKean, Staff Writer

On Saturday, March 26, the Villanova women’s lacrosse team defeated UC Davis, 12-10, improving its record to 4-7 and dropping UC Davis to 4-5. The Wildcats faced the Aggies in the Villanova Stadium on Alumni Day, when they honored past players, as well as former head coach Julie Young. 

The leading scorer for the Wildcats was freshman attacker Sydney Pappas, who scored a career-high five goals on a career-high eight shots on goal. Senior attacker Caroline Curnal was the next leading scorer, adding four goals for the Wildcats, while junior attacker Cara Moreau, senior attacker Olivia Piccirilli and senior midfielder Alexa Tsahalis had one goal each. Senior defender Sydney Frank moved into fifth all-time in school history for career draw controls with 124. 

At the start of the first quarter, the Aggies were able to build an early lead over the Wildcats with two goals. The Wildcats responded quickly, scoring within 16 seconds of the second Aggie goal. Senior midfielders Caroline Phelps and Libby McKenna connected passes in front of the goal before passing it off to Moreau who had a clear shot to get the ‘Cats on the board. The Wildcats tied it up with 90 seconds left in the quarter as freshman attacker Sami Carey assisted a heavily guarded Pappas, who snuck the ball past the UC Davis goalie, but the Aggies responded with a third goal to give them a 3-2 lead going into the second quarter. 

To start the second, the Wildcats tied the game again when McKenna tallied her second assist of the game and found Pappas, who cradled the ball past defenders straight into the goal. The Aggies were unphased, going on to score two more goals to extend their lead back to two, until the 4:40 mark when Pappas found an open lane and scored again for the Wildcats, giving her a hat trick and bringing Villanova back within one goal. The Wildcats continued to fight, as only 40 seconds later, Curnal scored by taking a deep shot unassisted that slid past the goalkeeper. After tying the game again, the Wildcats took their first lead of the game when Pappas recorded her fourth goal of the game after getting her own rebound and capitalizing on the second chance opportunity. The Wildcats extended their lead with seven seconds left as Curnal evaded her defender to score her second goal of the game, leaving the ‘Cats with a 7-5 advantage at the half. 

Going into the third, the Aggies tried to get back into the game with an early goal, but the Wildcats responded as Moreau quickly fired a pass to a cutting Curnal, who struck it hard into the goal for a hat trick. After the fast start to the quarter, the game was stagnant until the two minute mark when Pappas earned a free position shot and scored her fifth goal of the game, giving the ‘Cats a three-goal lead entering the final quarter of play. 

Within the first couple of minutes of the fourth quarter, the Aggies tried to spark a comeback with an early goal to cut their deficit to two, but Piccirilli cradled the ball from the back of the goal and was able to get it up and over into the net to regain the three goal advantage. Within the next minute, Tsahalis attacked the next as well to score the 11th goal of the game for Villanova. The Aggies were able to cut the lead to two again, but the Wildcats would not let up. With four minutes left, Curnal scored her fourth and the Wildcats’ last goal of the game. The Aggies scored one goal in the final minutes, but it was not enough, and the Wildcats finished with the win.

The next game for the Wildcats will be on Saturday, April 2 at Villanova Stadium, when they will face Georgetown for their first conference game. The last time the Wildcats faced the Hoyas was on March 21, 2021, when they were defeated 18-8. The Wildcats will look to break an 11-year losing streak against Georgetown. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be streamed through FloSports.