Men’s lacrosse takes down St. John’s

Mitchell Berrang

Villanova (6-6) looked to end its five game losing streak Saturday night as it hosted Big East rival St. John’s Red Storm (3-10). Not only was this game senior night for the Wildcats, but more importantly, it was a must win game for Villanova to salvage their season. Although both teams were struggling lately, this game was nothing short of an offensive scoring clinic. Ultimately, the Wildcats defeated the Red Storm, 21 – 11, and kept their postseason hopes alive.  

Freshman midfielder Sean Cerrone netted a team high and career high five goals and led the Wildcats’ offensive barrage. Cerrone registered Villanova’s first goal of game at the 10:39 mark to answer the Red Storm’s early 2 – 0 lead. The first quarter was predominantly back and forth, but the highlight of the quarter was the Wildcats three goal scoring run to close out the quarter and tie the game 6 – 6.

The second quarter was extremely similar to the first in the sense that it was full of back and forth scoring. St. John’s and Villanova each recorded four goals by the 1:00 mark. Villanova’s junior attackman Harry DellaFera ripped the Wildcats tenth goal of the game, which gave Villanova a one goal advantage at halftime, 10 – 9.

This game truly was a game of two halves. Although the first half was fairly even, Villanova undoubtedly dominated the second half and outscored the Red Storm, 11 – 2. In the third quarter alone, the Wildcats outscored the Red Storm, 6 – 0. Villanova’s leading scorer, freshman attackman Danny Seibel, scored two goals in the quarter, while Sean Cerrone registered two goals in the quarter as well. Through their efforts the fourth quarter began with Villanova leading 16 – 9. This seven goal lead only increased in the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, five different Wildcats found the back of the net. The 10-goal margin was the largest of the season. Also, the 21 goals scored were the most goals totaled by the Wildcats in a game since 1999.

In fact, Villanova held St. John’s scoreless for a span of 26:27. This scoring drought can be attributed to sophomore goalkeeper Dan Willis’ solid performance between the pipes in the second half. Willis only allowed two goals on 14 second half shots. Additionally, after halftime, the Wildcats’ defense did a great job adjusting better against St. John’s scoring attack.

While credit is due to the Wildcats’ defensive efforts, this game was a true testament to Villanova’s sensational offensive ability. Cerrone led the team with five goals, but nine other Wildcats scored as well. Seibal followed suit with four goals of his own, which tied a season best, and junior attackmen Johnny Gallaway recorded three goals. Just their efforts collectively outscored the Red Storm, 12 – 11. Freshman attackman Charlie Horning led the Wildcats with three assists and Sean Cerrone led the team with seven points.

This win for the Wildcats moves their record to 6 – 6 on the year and puts them fourth in the Big East standings. The Big East tournament is only two weeks away and the Wildcats are clinging on to the last spot. Only four teams make the tournament, and the Wildcats sit ahead of St. John’s and Providence in the standings. Villanova is 1 – 3 in Big East play, which is the same record as St. John’s, but Villanova stands above St. John’s, due to the Wildcats’ better season record.

 With next week being the final game of the regular season, Villanova controls its postseason destiny. All Villanova has to do is win and they are in the Big East tournament. However, if the Wildcats lose, and St. John’s wins their next game against Georgetown, then St. John’s is in the tournament. Villanova’s next opponent is Providence, which is 4 – 9 on the season and 0 – 4 in Big East play. Although Providence is the worst team in the Big East and is currently on a seven game losing streak, look for the Friars to give Villanova their best shot at playing spoiler for the Wildcats’ season.

The special factor about this year’s Big East tournament for the Wildcats is that the tournament will be played in the Villanova Stadium. Essentially, Villanova is battling for home field advantage, which it will definitely need if it makes it into the tournament. Its first round opponent would be nationally ranked number four Denver, which beat Villanova, 15 – 4, earlier this season.

Villanova knows the obstacles that are ahead of it, and from this previous game’s performance it looks determined to not only make it into the postseason, but make some serious noise in the postseason as well.