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Rutgers Early Lead is Too Much for Wildcats to Overcome in 13-5 Loss
Justine Donodeo

April 5, 2012

Box Score

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Rutgers scored the game's first three goals and never trailed en route to a 13-5 victory over Villanova in a BIG EAST women's lacrosse contest played on Thursday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats are now 2-8 overall, 0-2 in the BIG EAST while Rutgers improves to 7-4 overall, 2-1 BIG EAST.

"I thought we did a good job of competing and our ball control in the second half was good," stated VU head coach Julie Young. "Unfortunately, we hit some posts and weren't able to generate goals off the possessions we had."

Justine Donodeo led the Wildcats with three goals while Ali Judge and Elise Bendinelli scored the others. Lauren Sbrilli scored four goals for the Scarlet Knights.

Sbrilli helped stake Rutgers to an early 3-0 lead by scoring twice in the first nine minutes of play. Donodeo put the Wildcats on the board when she fired a free position attempt just underneath the crossbar at 20:13 to narrow the gap to 3-1.

After another Rutgers goal, Donodeo used her speed to create her second goal of the afternoon, scoring an unassisted goal to shave the margin to 4-2 with 13:48 left in the period.

Rutgers, though reeled off the next four goals, including a pair off the stick of Kristin Kocher. The Scarlet Knights built an 8-2 lead with just under six minutes to play in the first period.

Jessica Mucci set up Ali Judge for a Villanova goal at 5:05 and Donodeo converted another free position attempt to carve the margin to 8-4 with 4:07 on the clock in the first half. But Rutgers came right back with the final two goals of the half, the last coming with just 12 seconds to play in the period, to take a 10-4 lead into the locker room at intermission.



Rutgers held a 14-7 advantage in first half shots while the `Cats had one more ground ball (6-5) and controlled one more draw than the Scarlet Knights (8-7).

Sbrilli repeated her first half work when she scored the first goal of the second period. It was an unassisted goal that lifted Rutgers to an 11-4 edge. Bendinelli got one back for the Wildcats when she notched an unassisted goal with 17:43 to play.

There were no goals scored over the next 13 minutes though the Wildcats dominated most of the possessions. Then Stephanie Anderson recorded the 12th goal of the day for the Scarlet Knights with 3:45 to play in the contest. Melissa Arthur scored the final goal of the day with 39 seconds left.

Each team finished the day with 15 ground balls. Rutgers held a 19-18 edge over the Wildcats in shots.

Young gave credit to junior Maria Bowman, who returned from injury, for her efforts in that possession game.

"I thought Maria really stepped up today," Young stated. "She didn't have a goal but she created a lot of opportunities for us and I was really pleased with her effort today."

Villanova travels to Notre Dame to meet the Fighting Irish in another BIG EAST contest on Saturday at 11 a.m.