Rice Leads Balanced Effort in 'Nova Victory
from press release
FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Anchored by sophomore Jack Rice's (Baltimore, Md.) hat trick and points from nine different players, the Villanova men's lacrosse team (3-1, 0-0 BIG EAST) brought home a significant 10-6 victory over Fairfield (2-2, 0-0) on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.) tallied 13 saves in the win.
The possession-style game led to only two goals in the first quarter, with Fairfield's Matt Plominski finding the net at the 8:04 mark from a Max Trunz assist. Just four minutes later with 4:27 remaining the period, junior Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) scored his seventh goal of the season on a man-up opportunity to tie the score at 1-1.
Fairfield was able to notch two quick goals to begin the second stanza with scores from Sam Snow and Jordan Greenfield to give the Stags a 3-1 lead.
After being assessed two slashing penalties, Fairfield gave the Wildcats a two-man advantage at the 8:33 mark, with Rice (Baltimore, Md.) making the most of the opportunity on a bouncer to goal from a Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y.) assist.
Just four minutes later with 3:49 on the clock, junior C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) notched his second goal of the season on a straight shot to net, beating Fairfield's Charlie Cipriano to the low right and tying the game at 3-3.
Fairfield responded by scoring on an EMO, moving the scoreboard to 4-3 in favor of the Stags.
To end the quarter, Cunningham collected his second goal of the day of an Andrew Henrich (Wyndmoor, Pa.) assist, ending the half with a tied game, 4-4.
Coming out of the locker room, Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.) gave Villanova the 5-4 lead on an unassisted play, with Fairfield responding with a Kuring goal at 7:42 to tie the game at 5-5. The last 1:36 of the quarter saw Doherty capitalize on a rocket so the low right corner and Rice responding less than a minute later, finding a pass from Hart while he was cutting to the top of the crease. With the duo of goals, the Wildcats took the 7-5 lead before Fairfield notched a score with 32 seconds remaining.
The final quarter would prove to be the game-winner for the Wildcats, with Rice, Bell and Casertano tallying unanswered scores at 12:00, 9:56 and 4:32 marks to finish the contest, 10-6.
Junior Nolan Vihlen (Germantown, Tenn.) was a dominate force on face-offs for the Wildcats, winning 11-15 attempts from the X while collecting a team-high four ground balls for the day.
The Wildcats return home to Villanova Stadium to face Penn State on Tuesday, March 8th at 7 p.m.
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