The Villanova Wildcats men's lacrosse team scored a historic win today at the Carrier Dome as they won their first ever game against the Syracuse Orange 11-10. It was also the first ever Big East loss for Syracuse. Player of the game has to go to Dan Gutierrez, who was absoultey fantastic in goal, continually denying the Orange who had many open looks on net.
Villanova was down 7-5 at the half (I arrived back in time to catch the 2nd, so not much commetary to offer on the opening 2 periods). Immediately after the start of the 2nd half however, Villanova came out firing, scoring a couple of quick goals to tie the game at 7. They then traded a possession and goals with Syracuse before taking their first lead of the day 9-8.
'Nova would eventually push that lead to 11-9 before a frantic end to the game. 'Cuse would pull within 1 with about 5:30 left in the 4th quarter before both teams turned the ball over constantly in the closing minutes. Villanova, usually not one to slow the game down, began to employ the burn offense.
Maybe it was was a combination of nerves for some and inexperience for some others, but 'Nova continued to pass up shots on goal as 'Cuse frantically tried to double-team in an effort to win the ball back. The results every time down were unforced turnovers, and luckily, Syracuse could not make 'Nova pay.
In the closing seconds Syracuse had one last chance, but Gutierrez rose to the occasion as he had done all afternoon to make a vital stop and preserve the victory. After the final whistle, Syracuse redshirt senior Tim Desko was visibly upset at the loss and a bit hit by the 'Nova defense as the buzzer sounded and tried to pick a fight with 2 different 'Nova players. The 'Cats did well to not engage, especially in the wake of the ugly fight that marred the North Carolina-Maryland game yesterday.
A great day for 'Nova Nation - congrats to the team for a historic win!