No. 9 Villanova Loses Heartbreaker in Double Overtime, 15-14
April 21, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Another fourth quarter comeback propelled No. 9 Villanova (8-4, 2-1 Big East) into overtime versus the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (7-7, 1-4 Patriot League), but it wasn't enough for the victory as the Wildcats fell in a double overtime heartbreaker, 15-14, at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa. on Tuesday evening.
The back-and-forth contest featured six tied scores and three lead changes throughout the six period affair. It also marks the first time the Wildcats have played overtime in 2010.
The first quarter provided a glimpse of what was to come with a combined nine goals being tallied in the first fifteen minutes. Senior Paul Webber (Manhasset, N.Y.) gave Villanova a solid start with two goals in the first three minutes of play off assists from sophomore Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md.) and senior Mark Scioscia (East Hampton, N.Y.). Freshman Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) capped the VU first quarter scoring from Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) and Mike Brennan (Manhasset, N.Y.) feeds.
Lehigh captured scores from Noah Molnar, Taylor Castagna, Adam Johnston and Richard Bradley to give the Mountain Hawks a slight 5-4 lead going into the second period.
A Villanova Jack Rice goal at the 13:22 mark tied the game at 6-all before Lehigh's Dante Fantoni netted two goals for the Hawks in the second quarter. VU then proceeded to go on a three goal scoring streak with tallies from Brennan, Rice and a Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) goal.
Prior to intermission, the Wildcats held Lehigh scoreless the last 12:54 minutes of the half while scoring three straight to go up 8-7 at the half.
Lehigh posted four goals in the third quarter to Villanova's two and provided six unanswered scores leading into the fourth period to give the Hawks a 14-10 advantage with 12:56 left to play in regulation. Villanova then answered with four straight goals, two from Scioscia and help from Cunningham and Webber.
To tie the game, senior Bryan McCartney (Doylestown, Pa.) forced a turnover behind the VU net which led to a fast break goal by Webber with 1:43 left to play in regulation. Webber's tally sent the game into overtime and gave the Wildcats a fighting chance to bring home their third consecutive win.
The first four minutes of overtime favored Villanova in shots by a 2-0 margin, while both teams were even with two turnovers apiece. The Wildcats also successfully defended a 30 second Lehigh man-up scenario.
Villanova got the first good look and shot of the second overtime period, but a Dan Carr save prevented the Villanova celebration. Lehigh's Dante Fantoni provided the game-winning goal for the Hawks with 1:24 remaining in the second overtime off an unassisted play. His four-goal performance for the night led the team for Lehigh.
Villanova dominated in nearly every category for the night, including shots (43-34), ground balls (31-29) and face offs (22-33). Sophomore Nolan Vihlen (Germantown, Tenn.) had one of his best performances of the season by winning 66% of face-offs for the evening and collecting eight ground balls.
Defensively, juniors Chris Ficke (Madison, N.J) and Brian Karalunas (Dewitt, N.Y.) combined for nine ground balls and five caused turnovers. Freshman Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.) tallied seven saves for the evening in cage for VU.
Lehigh's Carr is credited with the victory and posted 19 saves for the Mountain Hawks.
The Wildcats will look to rebound back into BIG EAST action this coming Sunday when they travel to Piscataway, N.J. for a date with the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at Yurcak Field