Villanova Scores First Eight, Stifles Delaware
from press release
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- No. 11 Villanova (8-3, 0-2)
scored eight unanswered goals en route to a 10-4 victory over
former CAA-rival and No. 17 Delaware (7-4, 3-0) on Saturday evening
at Villanova Stadium.
Sophomore Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) led all scorers with three goals and one assist while senior Brian Karalunas (Dewitt, N.Y.) had another stellar showing posting eight ground balls and six caused turnovers for the night. Goalkeeper Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.) captured eight saves in the victory.
"This was a nice win for us," head coach Mike Corrado said. "All of us in the locker room think we have a good team here. Delaware is a good team and we essentially held them to one goal for most of this game. We have a bunch of guys that want to prove that they're a top-10 team."
The Wildcats held Delaware scoreless for 42:36 - the longest scoring drought Villanova has held opponents to this season. VU previously held Syracuse scoreless for 40:06 on March 26 and Princeton scoreless for 31:11 on March 15.
It took nearly nine minutes into the start of the game to get on the scoreboard, but sophomore Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y.) captured his tenth goal of the season at the 6:04 mark to put VU up 1-0.
Another five and a half minutes would pass before C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) and Rice would capitalize on Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) assists with :28 and :02 seconds remaining in the quarter, giving the Wildcats a 3-0 lead to begin the second stanza.
Villanova maintained momentum and carried possession throughout much of the second quarter as Vigilante netted his seventh score of the year off a low shot to the corner, while Rice would follow less than a minute later from the top of the crease off a Casertano feed to put VU up 5-0.
The Wildcats would round out the half with sophomore Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) sneaking around the goal to pass UD goalkeeper Noah Fossner, giving Villanova a 6-0 lead going into halftime.
The relentless Villanova offense continued coming out of the break, as Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) and Rice would capitalize off Small assists at the 13:53 and 10:18 marks, giving VU a sizeable 8-0 lead with just over 25 minutes left in regulation.
The Blue Hens would get on the board with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter with Nick Elsmo finding the back of the net from a Brenden Gilson assist.
Villanova responded to open the final stanza at the 12:17 mark when Doherty would find Casertano for the score, pushing the Villanova lead back to eight at 9-1.
Delaware battled back with two quick scores with 5:14 and 4:00 remaining from John Mills and Eric Smith, closing the gap to 9-3 before Villanova's Matt Bell would solidify a 10-3 lead with 2:23 left to play from a Rice assist.
UD's Grant Kaleikau would close the game with 2:18 left on the clock, but it wouldn't be enough to stifle the sizeable Villanova lead amassed in the first half, giving Villanova the 10-4 victory.
Despite the outcome, Delaware would lead in ground balls (25-24) and face-offs (10-18), while both teams posted 26 shots for the evening. Delaware's Noah Fossner would make five saves in the loss while Kaleikau would lead the team with five ground balls.
The 11th ranked Wildcats will return to BIG EAST play a week from today when they host Rutgers on April 16th. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Villanova Stadium and the weekend will mark the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Villanova Men's Lacrosse.