Men’s Lacrosse Improves to 9-1


Brian Luppy/Villanovan Photography

Villanova has won nine of its first 10 games this season and is 2-1 in Big East play.

Brooke Ackerman, Co-Sports Editor

This past week, No. 13 Villanova men’s lacrosse (9-1, 2-1 Big East), improved its record after a commanding 20-8 win over Providence.

In the win, fifth-year goalie Will Vitton made 14 saves, winning the 35th game of his career to become the winningest goalie in program history. Vitton also remains fourth in school history with 636 career stops, and is the current Division I active career leader with 3,273:52 minutes played.

“Will’s been starting since he was a freshman, so he’s experienced,” head coach Mike Corrado said. “He plays with a lot of confidence, and the kids on the team have a lot of confidence in him.”

The Wildcats came out fast against the Friars, with a goal from fifth-year midfielder Austin Fraser just 46 seconds into the game. They followed up the quick start by building a 5-0 in the first quarter, with goals from Fraser, junior attackman Matt Licata, fifth-year midfielder Matt Campbell, fifth-year attackman Patrick Dalt and senior midfielder Gavin Burke, all within the first 11-plus minutes of the game.

“I thought it was important for our confidence to come out and score quickly and put the [Denver loss] behind us,” Corrado said. 

Come halftime, Villanova led, 12-7, and would go on to outscore Providence, 8-1, in the second half.

The win was spearheaded by Licata and Campbell, who each had four goals, but the victory over the Friars was a collective team effort.

11 different Wildcats scored a goal, while 14 different players tallied at least one point in the win.

“When we’re at our best we can spread it out,” Corrado said. It’s pretty rare to get 14 players with a point, and to start getting contributions [from everyone] it forces other teams to not just focus on one player… it makes us hard to defend.” 

Villanova dominated on all ends of the field against the Friars, especially with senior faceoff specialist Justin Coppola who went 14-for-25 at the X, and picked up 12 ground balls.

With this performance, Coppola became the second player in school history to surpass 300 career ground balls, and third in school history with 571 career faceoff wins, just eight behind Chris Colliniates (2004-07) for second place.

“To have someone like Justin, he’s so experienced, he’s confident and he’s incredibly competitive,” Corrado said. “One thing with Justin is he’s quick enough, fast enough and tough enough to compete, even when he doesn’t win a move, he’s still effective.”

The Wildcats will remain at Villanova this week for their last home game against Marquette (6-5, 1-1 Big East) before the Big East Tournament.

“Marquette is a very good team,” Corrado said. “They’ve got two or three All-American type players on their team. We’re gonna expect Marquette to come in here and play a really good game, and expect to have a hard and physical battle with them.”

Villanova is set to take on the Golden Eagles on Saturday, April 22nd. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.