Frocarro leads women’s lacrosse to thrilling victory

Mitchell Berrang

Coming off a 13-9 win against St. Joespeh’s, the Wildcats looked to continue their winning ways when they hosted the High Point Panthers Saturday afternoon in the Villanova Stadium. Little did each team know that this game would be a triple overtime thriller, and end on a last minute goal. Villanova scored a game-winning goal in the thrid overtime period and notched the 11 – 10 victory. 

The Panthers came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Emily Meier, Erica Perrotta, and Leah Pace each registered a goal to jump out to an early 3 – 0 lead over the Wildcats at 9:08 mark.  However, on the next offensive possession, Villanova’s junior midfielder Shannon Galvin quickly answered High Point’s three goal streak with her second goal of the year.

With Galvin’s goal, also came the momentum. Two other Wildcats followed Galvin’s lead by finding the back of the net. Senior Jackie Froccaro, who dominates Villanova’s attack, scored at the 5:41 mark, and sophomore midfielder Carolyn Dottino-Beunahora followed suit off of a free position shot. 

The game was knotted up 3 – 3 at the 3:36 mark, but the Panthers were not deterred. High Point closed the half on a strong note by scoring two goals in the final three minutes, Kendyl Gardener scored off of a free position shot, while Erica Perrota’s second goal of the half was assisted by Samantha Brown. The Panthers led at halftime 5 – 3. 

Although High Point led Villanova by two goals, Villanova had almost twice as many shots as the Panthers. The Wildcats recorded 15 shots compared to the Panther’s eight shots. High Point’s goalkeeper Julia Burns was solid in the net with five saves in the half. On groundballs, fouls, draw controls and turnovers both teams were roughly even throughout the half.

Villanova would not, and did not, let the Panthers maintain momentum to begin the second half. 

The Wildcats registered two early goals to start the second half. Freshman midfielder Kathleen O’ Connor scored an unassisted goal within the first minute of the second half to get the score to 5 – 4.

Villanova tied the game at five thanks to Froccaro’s second goal of the game and tenth on the year at the 27:52 mark. High Point quickly answered back with another three goal streak. Meier scored the sixth and seventh goal for the Panthers, and also her second and third goal of the game. Kendyl Gardener recorded the eighth goal and her second of the game to push the Panthers’ lead to 8 – 5. 

Froccaro and company triumphed back to go on a four goal scoring streak and have the one goal edge on the Panthers. Froccaro scored back-to-back unassisted goals to get the game to within one goal for the Wildcats.

The game-tying goal put the score to 8 – 8, and was scored by Carolyn Dottino–Buenahora at the 14:05 mark. This goal was her fourth on the year and second in the game. Senior leader Jackie Frocarro scored her fifth goal of the game at the 10:03 mark, and gave the Wildcats a 9 – 8 lead, which was their first lead of the second half. 

The final ten minutes of the game kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Both teams went back and forth exchanging goals, but at a relatively slow pace. High Point’s Leah Pace put in the Panthers’ game-tying goal at the 7:15 mark to make the game 9 – 9. However, Jackie Froccaro put her Wildcats in the lead, 10 – 9, with her career high sixth goal of the contest on a free position goal. 

Villanova incessantly attempted to hold off the Panthers’ offense, but gave up a goal with 1:11 left in the game. Emily Meier registered her fourth goal of the game, on a free position goal. Meier’s goal forced the game into overtime, and it would not be the first overtime. 

The game not only went to one overtime period, but an additional two overtime periods. After two overtime periods of back and forth chances and missed opportunities by both teams, Villanova finally capitalized in the third overtime period. With only 1:26 left in the third overtime period, junior attacker Meghan Breen ended the three hour contest by finding the back of the net on her first goal of the year to give the Wildcats the 11 – 10 victory. 

Froccaro was an offensive juggernaut with six goals against the Panthers’ defense, which put her season total to 14 goals. Wildcat freshman goalie Julia Michaels played a pivotal role in the Wildcats’ victory by recording nine saves and recorded four of the nine saves in the second overtime period. Michaels replaced junior goalkeeper Jaclyn Fraum to begin the second half, each goalies allowed five goals on the day.

Villanova edged High Point on shots with 35 shots compared to the Panthers’ 25 shots. High Point recorded 15 draw controls to Villanova’s 13 draw controls. Both teams were even on groundballs with 16 each. The other statistic lines between both teams were fairly even.

This win pushes the Wildcats to .500 on the year (4-4), and the Wildcats aim to bring their winning streak to three wins in their next outing against the Lafayette Leopards. This game will be held Wednesday March 24th under the lights at 7 P.M. in the Villanova Stadium.