The Villanova Wildcats lacrosse team traveled to Newark, Delaware having won four of the past five meetings with the Blue Hens, but Saturday afternoon wasn't their day as they fell on the road 11-9. For the third straight game in the young 2014 season, Mike Corrado's team was forced to play from behind, but they couldn't mount the comeback this time out.
Delaware jumped out to a 4-1 lead early, with the lone Wildcat goal coming from junior Christian Bennardo on a beautiful shot into the top corner. That goal tied the game at 1-1 with 12:27 remaining in the first quarter before the Blue Hens made the most of their opportunities and notched three straight to end the first quarter and put 'Nova into a big hole.
The Blue Hen's Tyler Barbarich dominated the face-off game, posting a 17-23 record over Thomas Croonquist on the day.
The second quarter featured the first comeback of the game for Villanova as they responded early with three straight goals of their own. Sophomore Jack Curran scored twice and freshman Kurtis Naslonski poured in another in a a five-minute span to tie the game at 4-4 before Delaware went back on the offensive. The seesaw battle continued as Delaware scored three in a row before Villanova's Kevin O'Neil scored with 32 seconds remaining to cut the Hens' lead to 7-5 heading into half time.
The momentum from O'Neil's goal carried over into the third quarter as sophomore Johnny Gallaway scored to make it a 7-6 Delaware lead after a 7 minute scoreless drought for both teams. Unfortunately, Gallaway's goal opened the floodgates for the Blue Hens, who recorded four straight goals to close out the period and give them an 11-6 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
A furious rally by Villanova that featured goals from Eric Gartner, Gallaway and Tim Mulrenan wasn't enough as the Wildcats were blanked for the final 2:33.
Seniors John LoCascio and Chris Piccirilli combined for 10 ground balls and 3 caused turnovers on the day to lead the defense.
The 'Cats are back in action next Saturday when they host the Penn Quakers at Villanova Stadium. The game will air on Fox College Sports at 5 pm ET.