Blogs and Commentary

posted 10.23.11 at 8.45 p.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Fall Ball: Villanova Moving On Post-Karalunas

Loyola hosted Stony Brook, Villanova and Siena in men's fall ball scrimmage action Saturday. Check out a full report on Stony Brook, as it gets going under new coach Jim Nagle, here. Below are some additional notes from the scrimmages:

Karalunas Out; Who's in?

As quickly as Brian Karalunas took the national stage is a quick as he is gone. The ground ball and turnover machine -- accurately called the "sasquatch of college lacrosse," last year by ESPN play-by-play guy Eamon McEneaney, as the best player you may have never heard of – has left a void on the Villanova defense.

Sophomore John LoCascio will start off being the Wildcats' top pole. LoCascio, like Karalunas, is effective at scooping ground balls, but he is not the takeaway threat that Karalunas was.

"He's just a totally different player than Brian Karalunas," Villanova coach John Corrado said of LoCascio. "He's not as much of a takeaway guy, but he's really good in transition. He's got a really good stick; he's great on ground balls. I think he's going to push the ball."

Another leader on the Villanova defense is Chris Creighton, who was All-Big East as a junior. The Wildcats return a largely offensive group on offense led by senior attackman Kevin Cunningham, who had 24 goals and 21 assists last spring.

Loyola Has Goalie, Faceoff Questions

The Greyhounds have an open competition for its starting goaltender spot, left open by the graduation of Jake Hagelin. Junior Mike Bonitatibus and sophomore Jack Runkel, who played less than 10 minutes combined last year for Loyola, are the candidates and split time in the Greyhounds first scrimmage against Siena. There is a similar void to fill on faceoffs, where old reliable John Schiavone needs to be replaced. J.P. Dalton and Phil Dobson took turns there.

Fanshaw Shaken Up

During Loyola's scrimmage against Siena, Loyola attackman Patrick Fanshaw suffered an apparent head injury after a Siena player delivered a hard hit. In what was a precautionary measure, Fanshaw was taken off the field on a gurney and put into an ambulance. He was responsive and talking as he was taken off, but was knocked unconscious on the hit, Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan said.