The Villanova Wildcats' lacrosse team welcomed Marquette (2-6, 0-1) to Big East lacrosse this past Saturday as they took on the Golden Eagles in their inaugural conference match-up. The Wildcats would go on to win the contest 10-8, improving their record to 2-6 for the season.
Marquette claimed an early lead during the opening minutes thanks to goals from Kyran Clarke and Tyler Melnyk. But Villanova's balanced attack showed up in a big way as defense-man Chris Piccirilli scored the team's first goal of the night; Devin McNamara and Harry Dellafera each added their own goals to bring the Wildcats to a 3-2 advantage.
Villanova would enjoy two more three-goal rallies to push the lead to 9-4, the largest discrepancy of the evening. But Marquette would not go quietly into the night during their Big East debut. The Golden Eagles retaliated with four consecutive goals to bring the game within one during the closing minutes. Another heartbreaking loss loomed large for Villanova in Marquette's Hart Park. But ultimately the Wildcats would not give away the game, as sophomore attacker Tim Mulrenan put the contest out of reach for good with a clutch last-minute laser.
Sophomore Johnny Gallaway led the Wildcats in scoring with three goals. Freshman goalkeeper Dan Willis managed to accumulate eight saves, aided in particular by senior John Locascio's three forced turnovers.
While Villanova's at-large chances remain slim based on their 2-5 record, the Big East retains its automatic qualifier during the end of season conference championship. Wins like this against Marquette are a great way to start.
The Wildcats will play again on Tuesday, March 25th when the Georgetown Hoyas visit Villanova Stadium.