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Villanova Lacrosse gears up for final 2 games

Senior Mark Scioscia

It's been about a week and a half since I've posted on the blog, which is subpar to say the least, but my mood has been uplifted a great deal over the last 10 days, as the resurgent New York Mets just capped a 9-1 homestand.  Anyways, over this span, the Villanova men's lacrosse team played 2 very important games. 

The first came at home last Tuesday night against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.  In what was supposed to be a defensive battle, it was the offensive units of both squads that stood out.  The first half was a back and forth affair, with neither team holding more than a 2 goal advantage.  The third quarter was dominated by the visitors, as Lehigh took a 13-10 lead heading into the last 15 minutes.  After the Mountain Hawks scored a quick goal in the 4th, Villanova began to chip away and staged a furious comeback to tie the game at 14 all with 1:43 left.  Neither team could find the net in the rest of regulation, so a sudden death overtime was in store for this contest.  After one 5 minute overtime wasn't enough, a second overtime ensued, and it was Lehigh's Dante Fantoni who scored the game winner with 1:24 left.  Leading the way for the Cats was freshman Jack Rice (Baltimore, MD) with 4 goals on the night.  

After losing to a mediocre Lehigh squad, there was no margin for error for Villanova heading into a road showdown with Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey this past Sunday afternoon.  While the Lehigh contest had some offensive fireworks, the game against the Scarlet Knights was a grind-it-out slugfest.  The Cats jumped out to a 4-2 lead early in the second quarter, but the offense went silent for a long stretch, resulting in a halftime score of Villanova 4 Rutgers 3.  Any edge in this game was crucial, and the Cats put up 2 in the third quarter, while the defense held serve, giving Villanova a 3 goal lead heading into the 4th quarter.  Rutgers never really threatened in the 4th quarter, as the defense clamped down, providing the Wildcats with a huge 8-4 W.  Senior Paul Webber (Manhasset, NY) led the charge statistically with 2 goals and 2 assists.  For his efforts, Webber earned Big East Offensive Player of the Week honors.  With the win over the Scarlet Knights, Villanova improved to 9-4 overall and 3-1 in the rugged Big East.  

With only 10 days until Selection Sunday on May 9th, Villanova finds themselves very much alive for an at large berth in the 16 team NCAA Tournament field.  With 2 games left, one against a winless Providence team and the finale versus the solid Georgetown Hoyas, it is imperative for the Cats to win out.  In the latest Inside Lacrosse Division 1 Bracketology, writer Terry Foy currently has Villanova in the NCAA Tournament, but any loss in the last 2 games will probably result in no berth come tourney time.