April 26, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova came back to tie the game with 38 seconds left in regulation but luck wasn't on their side as Providence netted the game-winner in double-overtime to claim a 11-10 victory over Villanova on Saturday afternoon. In a contest where the Wildcats never led, Villanova played in their fifth overtime contest this season which marks the most-ever in Villanova lacrosse history.
With the loss, Villanova concludes the 2014 season with a 5-9 overall record and 3-3 mark in BIG EAST games. Today's contest marked the first conference win for Providence this season and they improved to 4-11 overall with the victory and moved to 1-5 in the BIG EAST.
Both teams had opportunities to win in overtime, but Providence's Robby Stack made the most of an unsettled transition off a Villanova turnover and netted the game-winner with 50 seconds to play in the second overtime period. The Wildcats won both overtime face-offs to gain possession, but shots from Eric Gartner (Malvern, Pa.) and Matt McIver (Andover, Mass.) were blocked and sailed wide for the Wildcats best chances to win.
Providence started the game on a 3-0 run before Villanova's Johnny Gallaway (Middletown, Md.) put the Wildcats on the board at the 9:11 mark for their first goal of the game. Both sides traded scores throughout the first quarter before senior Kevin O'Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) closed the stanza at the 4:33 mark to make it a two-goal game at 5-3 in favor of the Friars.
Back and forth action continued in the second 15 minute period as scores from Villanova's Gallaway and freshman Devin McNamara (Lutherville, Md.) highlighted the quarter. Going into intermission, Villanova trailed by two to the Friars at 5-7. Coming out of the locker rooms, Providence would go on to outscore the Wildcats by a 3-2 margin in the third quarter and matched their biggest lead of the game at 10-6 with 1:30 left to play in the stanza. Following Sean Wright's goal with 90 seconds on the clock, the Wildcats began a four-goal run to bridge the third and fourth quarters with scores from O'Neil, McNamara, McIver and Jack Curran (Fair Haven, N.J.) to tie the game at 10-10 with just 38 seconds left to play.
Villanova's Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) won the ensuing faceoff and the Wildcats maintained possession to take the final shot in regulation, but McNamara's attempt with 13 seconds left hit the post as Villanova went on to play in their fifth overtime game of the year.
Defensively, Dan Willis (Moorestown, N.J.) and Reed Carlson (Arnold, Md.) combined for eight saves on the afternoon while Providence's Tyler Himes tallied 12 stops in the victory. Senior John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) and sophomore John Moderski (Philadelphia, Pa.) combined for 10 ground balls and six caused turnovers on the afternoon.
The Wildcats will now set their sights to the BIG EAST Championship, set to take place this coming Thursday May 1st and Saturday May 3rd at Villanova Stadium. Villanova has secured the No. 3 seed and will face second-seeded Marquette in the semifinal matchup while Denver and Rutgers will square off in the other semifinal match. Game times are yet to be decided; Villanova defeated Marquette 10-8 on March 22nd during the regular season in Milwaukee, Wis.