No. 14 Villanova Falls Just Short, Drops 12-7 Decision to No. 11 Towson in CAA Title Game
May 8, 2004
TOWSON, MD. - Villanova battled, but could not quite close the gap as the Wildcats fell to No. 11 Towson, 12-7, in the Colonial Athletic Association men's lacrosse championship game on Saturday at Unitas Stadium. The Wildcats dropped to 12-3 overall, while the Tigers improved to 11-4.
Towson scored on its first shot of the game, with Drew Pfarr finding the back of the net. Then on the ensuing face-off, Matt Lucas won the draw and passed to Brendan O'Donnell who found Richie Kratz on the left wing for a goal to tie the game at 1-1.
The teams traded goals on back-to-back possessions later in the period, with Marc Creegan scoring for Villanova and Bobby Griebe answering for Towson, knotting the score at 2-2 with 5:39 left in the first. Griebe added his second of the game a minute later to put the Tigers back in front, 3-2.
Eric Heidenberger tied the score at 3-3 early in the second with his 10th of the season, but Towson got it right back when Jonathan Engelke sent a ground ball into the goal, making it 4-3 at 12:16 of the second.
Matt Florio gave the Tigers a two-goal cushion at 5-3, scoring from 10 yards out with 1:50 left in the half.
Towson continued to build its lead in the third period, as Brian Myers put the Tigers ahead 6-3 just two minutes in. Villanova goalie Joseph Canuso came up with two crucial saves on extra-man opportunities to keep the Wildcats close.
The Tigers went ahead 7-3 on a fast-break goal by Alex Fountain at 7:00 of the third period.
Seconds later Heidenberger brought the 'Cats back to within 7-4 with his second of the game, making a nifty move around the right post. Villanova tacked on another when Kratz found Dan Fanelli in front of the net at 5:10 of the third.
Towson pushed the lead back to three, 8-5, as Pfarr notched his second with 4:20 remaining in the third.
David Cacciabeve again closed the gap to two at 8-6, taking a feed from Heidenberger on the left side at 12:30 of the fourth.
The Tigers pulled away in the fourth, as Keith Obloj, Pfarr and Florio all scored to seal the championship.
Joseph Canuso finished with 10 saves in goal for the Wildcats, while Reed Sothoron stopped 12 shots for the Tigers.
Offensively, Heidenberger led the Wildcats with three goals and one assist, while Kratz totaled one goal and three assists. For Towson, Pfarr led the way with three goals.
With the victory, Towson clinched the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Villanova will have to await a decision on an at-large bid during the selection show will be televised on ESPN News on Monday at 3:00 p.m.