Feb. 26, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - A 9-4 run in the second half and four unanswered goals in the last six minutes propelled No. 14 Drexel to a 12-10 victory over Villanova on Tuesday night in Philadelphia, Pa. Near rainout conditions led to a sloppy play on both sides as the Wildcats fell to 0-2 on the season while the Dragons improved to 2-1. The loss marked the first defeat to the Dragons since April 11th, 2009.
Junior faceoff specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) set a career record by winning 19-of-23 attempts (.826) from the midfield while senior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) notched his 96th career goal to place him tied for 5th place overall on Villanova's all-time leading scorer list. Additionally, junior defenseman John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) grabbed a career-high nine ground balls as the trio set personal bests for the night.
The Wildcats dominated nearly every statistical category for the evening despite the outcome, outshooting the Dragons 35-31, winning 28 ground balls to Drexel's 12 and going 1-for-2 on extra man opportunities.
Villanova hit the ground running in the first half as the Dragons struggled to find their rhythm. Led by a pair of goals from freshmen Jack Curran (Fair Haven, N.J.) and John Kluh (Lothian, Md.) with assistance from seniors Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) and Rice, the Wildcats got out to a 6-3 lead after the first 30 minutes of play.
Senior Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.) gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game at 7-3 when he tallied an unassisted goal with 9:20 remaining in the third quarter. Just over a minute later, Drexel went on a three goal run with scores from Robert Church, Nick Trizano and Ben McIntosh to close the gap at 7-6 before Doherty and Rice responded to make it 9-6 Villanova with 18:07 left to play.
In the final 15:13 of regulation, Drexel outscored the Wildcats by a 6-1 margin. Hart's goal with 11:18 remaining in the fourth quarter put the Wildcats up two at 10-8 before four unanswered Dragon goals solidified the Drexel victory. With 4:44 on the clock, Frank Fusco notched the game-tying score while McIntosh nailed the game-winner with 3:56 remaining in the contest. A final tally with three seconds remaining by Ryan Belka cemented the win.
LoCascio and Croonquist combined for 15 ground balls on the day while freshman goalkeeper Greg Stamatov (Foxboro, Mass.) made seven saves. Drexel's Will Gabrielsen notched 12 stops for the victory.
The Wildcats will be on short rest when they host Delaware on Saturday, March 2nd at Villanova Stadium. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.