April 23, 2014
BALTIMORE, Md. - Villanova started strong and rallied in the second half, but a six-goal run by Johns Hopkins gave the Blue Jays momentum as JHU topped the Wildcats 13-7 on Wednesday night. The contest marked the final non-conference game for Villanova this year as they conclude their regular season on Saturday prior to the start of the BIG EAST Championship May 1st and 3rd.
With the defeat, Villanova moves to 5-8 on the season while Johns Hopkins improves to 10-3. Tonight's game marked the eighth contest in 2014 the Wildcats have played against opponents ranked in the top-20 of the national polls. It also marked the renewal of the Villanova-Hopkins rivalry that had been dormant since the 2002 season.
Villanova began the contest on a high note and took an early 2-0 lead with goals from sophomore Johnny Gallaway (Middletown, Md.) in the first two and a half minutes of the game, forcing JHU to call a timeout to regroup. The Blue Jays responded at the 7:49 mark before Villanova extended their lead to 3-1 off an extra-man opportunity from a Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) score.
The lead was evened by the home team as the Blue Jays tied the game at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter. Hopkins would go on to notch another four goals to bridge the first and second quarters off of scores from Holden Cattoni, Rob Guida and two goals from Wells Stanwick to make it a 7-3 game with 8:23 left to play in the half.
Villanova closed the lead heading into intermission at 7-5 when sophomore Matt McIver (Andover, Mass.) registered a behind-the-back goal off an assist from O'Neil with 7:04 on the clock. The final goal of the half would come just 1:15 later when freshmen Austin Frederick (Baltimore, Md.) and Devin McNamara (Lutherville, Md.) connected to close the JHU advantage to just two at 7-5 after the first 30 minutes of action.
Coming out of the locker rooms, McNamara put the Wildcats to within one at 7-6 at the 13:43 mark in the third quarter when he curled towards the crease and found the back of the net for the goal. Following a Hopkins response from Ryan Brown off a series of turnovers and unsettled play on both sides, the Blue Jays increased their lead to 8-6 with 9:00 left to play in the third period.
Villanova's Jack Curran (Fair Haven, N.J.) once again made it a one-goal game at 8-7 when he sent a rocket through the JHU defense off a McNamara assist at the 7:15 mark, but the goal would make the last of the game for the Wildcats.
Johns Hopkins finished the contest on a five-goal run to bridge the third and fourth quarters and kept the Wildcats scoreless for 22:15 to secure the win at 13-7. It would mark the 7th win in series history for the Blue Jays against Villanova after a 12 year hiatus from the series rivalry.
Defensively, freshman goalkeeper Dan Willis (Moorestown, N.J.) once again had an outstanding game for Villanova and registered 12 saves in the loss. Senior faceoff specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) had a team-high five ground balls and went 9-for-22 at X for the night while classmate John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) collected three ground balls and caused two turnovers.
Villanova's Devin McNamara led the team with one goal and three assists while JHU was led on offense by Wells Stanwick's three goals and one assist.
Villanova will return to action in just three short days when they conclude their 2014 regular season against the Providence Friars on Saturday, April 26th. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. and will serve as Alumni and Senior Day as the Wildcats are set to honor their eight graduating seniors prior to the beginning of the contest.