Women’s Lacrosse Wraps Up Non-Conference Play


Olivia Gordon/Villanovan Photography

The Wildcats improved their record to 8-2 this past weekend.

Elijah McDow, Staff Writer

This past week, Villanova’s women’s lacrosse team wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a match against in-state rival, Bucknell, bringing home a 12-10 victory and improving its record to 8-2. 

After going down, 2-0, goals from junior attacker Izzy Francati and sophomore attackers Sami Carey and Sydney Pappas helped the Wildcats take the lead just before the end of the quarter. 

Responding after going down early is something the Wildcats have had to adjust to all season. 

  “I think it’s been pretty evident in a lot of these close game wins,” head coach Jill Batcheller said. “Last year we were on the other side in close games. When we would get off to a slow start, we wouldn’t be able to adjust or mentally be able to move on, but I think this year’s team has a lot of confidence and trust in each other.”  

In the second quarter, the game continued to remain close. Less than a minute into play, Bucknell tied the game, 3-3. Shortly thereafter, graduate attacker Caroline Curnal scored her first goal and Pappas doubled the lead with her second goal.  

However, despite the burst of energy from Villanova, Bucknell responded again, scoring two goals, which kept the Wildcat lead very brief. 

The constant lead changes have also become a pattern all season for Villanova. 

  “In Division I lacrosse, a lot of times you’re going to expect that [constant lead changes],” Batcheller said. “Teams are always going to step up and rise up and our defense did a good job of making stops.” 

  Come halftime, it looked like the game could go either way, and it would take several adjustments to put Villanova on top. 

  “We talked about how we needed to spread out and make sure we were moving the ball out of double teams a little bit quicker,” Batcheller said. “We also talked about how on offense we wanted to make sure we were really driving hard in our 2v2’s and how we could be better in transition.” 

  As the second half got underway, the game was still tight, and, despite Batcheller’s adjustments, Villanova was outscored, 4-3. 

  While this could have resulted in Bucknell pulling away, the Wildcats maintained their presence and, at the end of the quarter, they found themselves tied with the Bison, 9-9.  

  The fourth quarter proved to be the difference for the Wildcats, as they were finally able to pull away for the first time in the game. 

“I think our team was finally able to make our adjustments in the fourth quarter,” Batcheller said. “They were trying to in the third quarter, but I think the fourth was when they were really able to do it.” 

Curnal continued her exceptional play by adding more goals to her tally, helping the Wildcats secure a narrow but well-deserved win.  

  “In all of our close games, Caroline has been somebody who shows her passion through her play,” Batcheller said. “She is always ready to get the job done and scored our last two goals of the game.”  

Next up for Villanova is its first Big East game of the season. The Wildcats will travel to Colorado to take on No. 6 Denver on April 1st.