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Men’s Lacrosse Building a New Identity in 2024

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Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
The Wildcats will open their 2024 season on the road on Saturday, Feb. 10 against Penn State (0–1).

Despite losing key players from last year’s roster, Villanova men’s lacrosse is looking to come out strong in 2024. The Wildcats will open their season on Saturday, Feb. 10. against Penn State (0–1) on Nittany Lions territory.

Last season, the Wildcats went 10–5 overall, with their season falling short in the first round of the Big East tournament against Denver. 

During this year’s preseason, senior defenseman Reid Colwell received an All-American honorable mention, a preseason All-Big East award and an Inside Lacrosse All-American honorable mention. 

“It’s more about the defense and the team, this is just something that comes with it,” Colwell said. “We’re just trying to play good defense and have good communication, good teamwork.”

Head coach Mike Corrado is excited for Colwell’s upcoming season.

“It’s nice when you have a guy where you feel comfortable saying ‘you’re gonna cover the other team’s number one guy,’” Corrado said.

Looking forward, Corrado gave insights on adjustments the team is making for the upcoming season.

“It’s a new team, so we’re gonna have to figure out who our guys are,” Corrado said. “We lost our all-time leading goal scorer, our fourth all-time leading goal scorer and senior Austin Fraser, who had over forty points as a midfielder last year. Offensively, it’s a work in progress.” 

With the loss of multiple dominant goal scorers, Corrado is excited for new players to step up. 

“Senior Matt Licata is our leading returning scorer. He’s got a couple years of experience and so he’ll be a really important guy for us,” Corrado said. “Colin Michener, who unfortunately got hurt last year as a freshman, so he redshirted and he’s an attacker who has a lot of potential. Then we add in some new guys like Thomas McIntire from Holy Cross, who was their leading scorer last year. [McIntire] is a graduate transfer.”

Defensively, the team is also building a new identity. The Wildcats lost their five-year starting goalie Will Vitton and short-stick defensive midfielder Chet Comizo, who was a first team All-American. However, Corrado feels more comfortable on the defensive side.

“Defensively, we’ve got Stevie Jones, who is a fifth-year short-stick defensive midfielder who has played since he was a freshman,” Corrado said. “Then we got a couple sophomores, Dave Evanchick who started every game last year, and Jack Shoemaker who played in every game last year. [Shoemaker] was a long-stick midfielder last year, but he’s gonna be a close defenseman to start the season.”

Along with season preparation, the ‘Cats are excited to be hosting the Big East tournament later this year. 

“Obviously you want to be in the tournament every year, but we haven’t had it here in six years, so none of these guys have ever had the chance to play at home for the Big East tournament,” Corrado said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to perform.”

The Wildcats will open the season facing off against one of their most competitive opponents. Inside Lacrosse ranked the Nittany Lions fourth in the 2024 preseason poll.

Villanova will travel again to New Haven, CT on Saturday, Feb. 17 to battle against Yale, another challenging team with the tenth spot on the poll.

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