March 5, 2013
PRINCETON, N.J. - Despite dominating the face-off battle for three quarters, the Villanova Wildcats (1-3) couldn't pull out the victory as they fell to No. 5 Princeton (3-) 14-11 on Tuesday evening at the Class of 1952 Stadium. Princeton dominated the second half and outscored the Wildcats by an 8-3 margin in the final 30 minutes and tallied six straight goals to bridge the third and fourth quarters for the win.
Junior Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) provided another impressive performance for the evening winning 17-of-29 attempts at midfield (.586) and tallied a career-high 10 ground balls. However, Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y.) earned the distinction of joining Villanova's 100 point club after tallying his 100th and 101st points on a goal and an assist in the first and third quarters, respectively. The senior midfielder became just the 20th player in Villanova history to eclipse the 100 point mark.
Princeton struggled from midfield for much of the night but managed to win 6-of-8 faceoff's in the fourth quarter which provided valuable possessions when they needed it most. Jeff Froccaro was the answer after the Tigers early struggles as the Princeton senior notched 5-of-7 attempts all in the final 15 minutes of play.
Villanova led the game by a three goal margin three times at 5-2 at the end of the first quarter, 9-6 with 13:34 remaining in the third stanza and at 10-7. The Wildcats also held a two-goal cushion for much of the contest before Princeton went on a six-goal run with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter to the 10:05 mark in the fourth. During that run, the Tigers notched six straight within a matter of 7:57 which proved to be insurmountable for the young Wildcats.
Remington Pope's (Boston, Mass.) goal with 4:17 left in the contest gave the Wildcats hope and closed the gap at 13-11, but Villanova couldn't find the equalizers to force extra time. Jeff Froccaro's score with 1:42 on the clock solidified the win for Princeton, who improved to 3-0 on the season.
Villanova's Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.), Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.), Eric Gartner (Malvern, Pa.), Paul Mita (Berwyn, Pa.) and Casertano all posted two points on the evening for the Wildcats as 10 players contributed points on the night in a balanced scoring effort.
Juniors John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.), Jimmy Wyatt (Whitehouse Station, N.J.)and Doherty all grabbed four ground balls to supplement Croonquist's game-high. Freshman goalkeeper Greg Stamatov (Foxboro, Mass.) matched a career-high by making 10 saves while Princeton's Matt O'Connor collected 12 stops for the victory.
Villanova will continue on with their difficult schedule when they take on No. 18 Penn on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. as part of the Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic triple-header, presented by Inside Lacrosse. Game time is slated for 2:30 p.m.