VILLANOVA, Pa. –Eighth-ranked Villanova (3-0) got off to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as the Wildcats downed No. 18 Drexel (1-2) 14-9 on Tuesday evening. Junior Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y.) led the team with two goals and three assists while senior Dan Gutierrez (Chevy Chase, Md.) posted 11 saves as eight different Wildcats posted points for the night.
With tonight’s win, Villanova improves to 3-0 which marks the best start for the Wildcats since 2009 when the team posted a 4-0 record to start the season. Even more impressive, the Wildcats are 19-3 at home in Villanova Stadium since 2009.
Despite the early Villanova lead, Drexel began a comeback in the second quarter scoring five goals in a span of 11:06. The Dragons held the Wildcats to only two goals and closed the gap to 7-5, the closest of the game, with 2:52 remaining in the half after three straight scores from Brendan Glynn, Kevin Stockel and Robert Church. Senior Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) netted the final tally of the first half off a Casertano assist to increase the VU lead to three going into the locker rooms.
In a second half defined by runs, Villanova bookended a third quarter with tallies from senior C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) and junior Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.), while sophomore Kevin O’Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) posted his third score of the day to give the Wildcats a sizeable 11-7 lead.
Drexel would manage only two scores in the final fifteen minutes from Aaron Prosser and Kyle Bergman, but it wouldn’t be enough to complete the rally after juniors Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, Md.) and Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) tallied the final three Wildcat goals to give VU the 14-9 win.
Sophomore Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) had another impressive night facing-off, winning 15-of-26 attempts and picking up a career-high eight ground balls. Defensively, senior Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa.) tallied three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Drexel’s Mark Manos posted 10 saves while Bergman led the team with one goal and five assists.
Villanova will be back in action on Saturday, March 3rd when they travel to Delaware (2-3) to face the Fighting Blue Hens. Game time is scheduled for Noon in Delaware Stadium.
NOTES: Villanova is 12-of-16 (75%) on man-up opportunities through the first three games of the season, including 2-of-2 (100%) in tonight’s win over Drexel… Through Villanova’s three games, 37 of VU’s 44 goals have been assisted (84%).