Women’s Lacrosse Falls to Denver, 16-8


Courtesy of Maggie Graw/Villanovan Photography

Villanova honored nine seniors on Saturday.

Amanda McKean, Staff Writer

On Saturday, April 23, the Villanova women’s lacrosse team fell to the University of Denver, 16-8, giving the Wildcats a record of 4-11 and 0-4 in the Big East.

It was senior day at Villanova Stadium, and the team honored nine of its players. The seniors celebrated were attackers Caroline Curnal and Olivia Piccirilli, midfielders Caroline Phelps, Libby McKenna and Alexa Tsahalis, defenders Sydney Frank, Elizabeth Pawlak and Hanna Driscoll and goalkeeper Alexa Moro. All seniors started the game. In addition, the game started with freshman goalkeeper Cate Gallagher serenading her team with the national anthem. 

The leading scorer for the Wildcats was Curnal as she added another hat trick to her statistics. In addition, Piccirilli and freshman attacker Sydney Pappas each scored two goals. The final scorer for the Wildcats was sophomore midfielder Jessie Lee, who was able to play in her fourth game this year. The leading scorer for the Pioneers was Lauren Black, who scored six goals for her team. 

At the start of the first quarter, things were pretty stagnant as both teams struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. The Pioneers had plenty of opportunities early on, yet their shots were all saved by Moro. The Wildcats broke the six-minute streak off of a free position shot taken by freshman attacker Sydney Pappas. The Pioneers were not as quick to respond, as it took another four minutes for them to eventually tie the game from a goal by Black. This did not faze the Wildcats, as 30 seconds later, Piccirilli weaved around multiple defenders and popped the ball over the goalie’s head and into the net. Nevertheless, the Pioneers went into the second quarter with a tie as Julia Gilbert scored with 22 seconds left.

The second quarter started similarly to the first, as it took four minutes for the Pioneers to eventually score. However, after being fouled, Pappas got a free position shot where she bounced the ball off the ground and then over the goalie’s head. The celebration did not last long for the Wildcats as Denver quickly got the ball down the field and to the back of the Wildcats’ net. This back-and-forth nature continued for the rest of the half since Villanova tied the game up again with a goal scored by Curnal, with an assist by freshman midfielder Megan Reilly. Minutes later, a Pioneers goal was met by an unassisted goal from Piccirilli. At the end of the half, the Pioneers went to their locker room ahead, 6-5. 

Throughout the entire third quarter, it was clear that the No. 9 Pioneers still had more to prove. The Wildcats were stopped from scoring for the entire 15 minutes while the Pioneers went on to score seven goals in the frame. The Pioneers closed out the quarter scoring four goals in the last 80 seconds of the third. After scoring at 1:11 on the clock, the Pioneers turned around and scored with 37 seconds on the clock and then nine seconds left. Their final goal was a buzzer-beater that just made it, leaving the quarter with a score of 13-5 going into the fourth.

The Wildcats attempted to rally as Curnal broke the Pioneers’ scoring streak, and Villanova scored two more goals without a response from the Pioneers, but with two minutes left, the deficit was still five. The Pioneers did not let up as they scored three more goals in the final minute and a half to head home with the win.

For their last Big East game of the regular season, the Wildcats will head to Butler. Last season, the Wildcats and Bulldogs played twice, with the Wildcats winning, 20-8 and 15-10, both games taking place at Villanova Stadium. The game is scheduled for 12 p.m. and will be streamed on FloSports.