Explorers Hang on for Narrow Victory at Villanova

VILLANOVA, PA - La Salle Lacrosse improved to 4-3 on the season after defeating the Villanova Wildcats, 13-11, on Wednesday evening at Villanova Stadium. Only seven games into the 2010 season, the Explorers have already accumulated enough wins to match last season's total. Wednesday's result makes it the second straight season in which La Salle has been able to add a victory to its win column after playing the Wildcats.

Leading the way for the Explorers in their latest win with four goals and two assists was freshman Lauren McDermott. Senior Stefany McKee followed up with a four-point night, scoring three goals and dishing out an assist. Fresh off her second Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week award, freshman Melanie Sarcinello provided two goals, one of which put the Explorers up 6-5 to grant them a lead they would not relinquish. Reigning A-10 Player of the Week Jill Davis provided two goals, while junior Ashley Rutz and sophomore Rachel Baker each chipped in with a goal a piece.

A back-and-forth featured first half had the Explorers going into halftime with a 5-4 lead. When the two teams returned to the field, Sarah Berger scored to even the score at five and regain Villanova's balance in this see-saw battle.

Nine seconds after the Wildcats knotted things up, Sarcinello put the Explorers right back on top, giving them a 6-5 lead.

From there La Salle took off, scoring five straight goals in a span of 4:55 to take a commanding 11-5 advantage. Two of the goals came courtesy of McKee and McDermott, and the other one from Davis.

In its previous two games, La Salle experienced the otherside of this scenario and was fortunate enough to mount a comeback in one of those occurences. Villanova, who entered Wednesday's game 5-0 on the year, refused to go down easy.

With 8:28 remaining, the Wildcats struck for four straight goals, three of which were scored by junior Rachel Lasda.

Villanova had the game down to a two-goal deficit with under three minutes remaining. Davis responded for the Explorers by adding some insurance to La Salle's trimmed-down advantage, to help put the Explorers back up by three.

Inside the final minute, the Wildcats refused to go away and were playing short-handed once senior Erica Rybinski was sidelined with a yellow card infraction. Villanova collected a goal with 59 seconds left in regulation when Carly Miller scored her third goal of the night.

The Wildcats were far from finished. Rybinski returned for the ensuing draw and continud to give Villanvoa life by adding another goal for the Wildcats, helping them reduce the margin to a mere goal with 31 seconds remaining.

Knowing what they did to Monmouth last week, the Explorers refused to let themselves be victimized in that regard. McKee ensured the Explorers their second consecutive road victory when she scored after receiving a pass from McDermott with three ticks of the clock remaining, giving La Salle the inevitable 13-11 win.

Winning four of their last five, the Explorers head to Solvay, N.Y. to complete the back-end of their current two-game road trip when they take on Le Moyne in their final non-conference game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.


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