March 9, 2013
CHESTER, Pa. - Career days from seniors Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) and Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.) weren't enough to push Villanova for the victory as the Wildcats fell 13-9 to No. 18 Penn at the inaugural Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic in Chester, Pa. The seniors combined for seven goals on the afternoon as the Wildcats fell to 1-4 on the season while Penn improved to 4-1.
With his hat trick, Rice became just the fifth person in Villanova lacrosse history to score 100 goals and the first since the 1994 season. He now ranks fourth amongst the Villanova elite with 102 career scores and 15th all-time with 106 points. Additionally, Hart set a career-high by scoring four goals in today's contest against the Quakers, besting his effort set nearly a year ago at Penn on March 10th, 2012.
In a game that featured five tied scores, the two squads were knotted up for much of the contest before Penn pulled away in the second half by outscoring Villanova 6-2 in the final 30 minutes of play. Penn twice made a two-goal comeback with 4:34 remaining in the first quarter at 5-3 and with 9:57 remaining in the second at 7-5.
Just 3:02 minutes into the second half, Rice notched the 11th goal of the season and his third of the game to give the Wildcats an 8-7 advantage, but a 6-1 run by Penn would solidify the contest in favor of the Quakers who posted their first win over Villanova since March 13th, 2010. During that run, Penn held Villanova scoreless for 15 minutes with 2:01 remaining in the third quarter and continuing until the end of the contest.
Villanova junior Chris Piccirilli (Davidsonville, Md.) and sophomore Eric Gartner (Malvern, Pa.) tallied the other two Wildcats scores on the afternoon off unassisted plays to post points. Senior Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) and freshman Tim Mulrenan (Glen Ridge, N.J.) provided assists.
Penn was led on offense by the three goal performance by Zack Losco, Isaac Bock and Nick Doktor.
Defensively, Villanova senior Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.) made 12 saves in just over 33 minutes of play while freshman Greg Stamatov (Foxboro, Mass.) posted four stops with 26:33 in goal. Penn's Brian Feeney collected nine saves for the win.
Villanova, in the midst of a five-game stretch against opponents ranked in the top-20 of the national polls, will continue on with their difficult schedule when they host No. 1 Maryland a week from today in Villanova Stadium. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.