Villanova, Pa. – Despite an early two goal lead, No. 10 Villanova couldn’t hold on for the victory as No. 16 Princeton upset the Wildcats at home, 14-8, on Tuesday evening.
Prior to tonight’s contest, Villanova had won 12 straight non-conference home games dating back to March 10th, 2010. Looking ahead and including this evening’s matchup, the Wildcats enter a five game stretch against opponents that are currently ranked in the top-20.
Princeton junior Jeff Froccaro paced the Tigers for the evening with five goals and two assists, while sophomore Tom Schreiber added six points through five goals and one assist. Villanova senior Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) guided the Wildcats with a career-high three goals and led the team in scoring for the first time this season.
After trailing just 5-4 at halftime, Princeton opened up a 6-3 run in the third quarter and finished 9-4 for the second half.
Sophomore Kevin O’Neil (Cockeysville, Md.) and Vigilante gave Villanova an early 2-0 lead just 4:31 into the game before Princeton found their stride with 2:54 remaining in the quarter. The Tigers netted two scores to tie the game at 2-2 before O’Neil scored on a point-blank shot to give Villanova a 3-2 lead going into the second stanza.
Froccaro would find the back of the net twice while Tucker Shanley added an additional score for the Tigers before Villanova senior C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) narrowed the Princeton lead to one at 5-4 going into halftime.
Schreiber and Froccaro would go on to combine for five of six Princeton goals in the third quarter, while Villanova saw scores from senior Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) and Vigilante to get the Wildcats to within three at 10-7 with 1:06 remaining in the third.
Junior Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) posted the final Villanova goal of the night with 13:48 left on the clock before the Tigers posted three straight scores to end the game.
Defensively, senior goalkeeper Dan Gutierrez (Chevy Chase, Md.) made six saves in the defeat while Princeton’s Tyler Fiorito posted 11 stops for the victory.
Villanova lost five of the first six face-offs of the game then went 13-of-19 the rest of the contest. Sophomore Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) claimed all 10 of his wins from the X during that span, while senior Nolan Vihlen (Germantown, Tenn.) went 4-of-10 for the evening.
The Wildcats will be back in action this Saturday, March 17th when they face No. 7 Maryland in College Park, Md. Game time is slated to 1 p.m. in Byrd Stadium.
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