Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team Drops Road Game at No. 20 Villanova
March 8, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's lacrosse team dropped a 17-5 decision at No. 20 Villanova in a non-conference game in Philadelphia. Freshman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) led Penn State with four points but it was not enough as Penn State lost in its first road game of the season.
Villanova jumped out to an early four-goal lead, shutting down the Nittany Lions while finding the net early against Penn State. Michael Vigilante scored less than a minute into the game and Nick Doherty took a Matt Bell pass at the 12:52 mark to give the Wildcats a cushion. Will Casertano scored two minutes later and C.J. Small found the net at the 5:53 mark to round out the first period scoring with `Nova up 4-0.
The Wildcats continued their offensive pressure in the second period, scoring two goals in the first two minutes. Kevin Cunningham scored a man-up goal at the 14:45 mark and Vigilante scored his second of the game a minute later to put Villanova up 6-0. Penn State got on the board off the stick of Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.), off an assist from Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) with 12:03 on the clock. But Villanova reeled off two more goals to extend their lead. Castertano scored at the 11:05 mark and Small scored again at the 10:06 mark to put Villanova up 8-1. Penn State got a lift at the 4:14 mark when junior Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) found the net off a Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.) assist with 4:14 on the clock. The goal was Forster's first in over a year after missing last season with an injury. Villanova closed out first half scoring getting a goal from Jack Rice with 1:12 left and a Bell goal with just a second on the clock to carry a 10-2 lead into the halftime break.
Penn State scored the first goal of the second half, getting a Matthew Mackrides (Newtown Square, Pa.) goal off a Sturgis assist just over two minutes into the third period. Sturgis then scored a solo goal at the 7:34 mark to push Penn State to within six, 10-4, but Villanova's Small found the back of the net with 5:58 left in the period to give Villanova an 11-4 lead. A furious third period continued with Penn State's Billy Gribbin (Rockville, Md.) scoring off yet another Sturgis assist to cut the VU lead to 11-5. But the Wildcats scored two quick goals to move back out to a 13-5 lead (Rice and Cunningham scored less than a minute apart at 3:39 and 2:56) at the end of the period.
Wildcat Cunningham scored two-plus minutes into the fourth period to put VU up 14-5 and then Bell and Small added two more before the 7:30 mark to put Villanova up 16-5. Kevin O'Neil added one more Villanova goal as the game wound down to give the Wildcats the 17-5 win.
Goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) had 18 saves, again facing daunting offensive pressure in the form of 42 Villanova shots. Penn State had 24 shots. The Wildcats claimed a 38-24 ground ball advantage and won 18 of 23 face-offs. Sturgis led Penn State with a goal and three assists. Matt Bernier (Drexel Hill, Pa.) led the Penn State defense with eight ground balls in the game.
Penn State is now 1-3 on the year while Villanova moves to 4-1. The Nittany Lions will entertain No. 19 Rutgers on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be played at Bigler Field unless otherwise announced.